Let’s face it – cooked quinoa on its own is somewhat bland. So to turn it into a salad, I added juicy cherry tomatoes, bitter radicchio, sweet-sour dried currants, spicy habañero chili, and earthy pistachios.
There’s also the refreshing lemon-mustard dressing, which works on other salads too, especially ones with lettuces or kale.
You’re getting a lot of color, flavor and texture. I also love how long this salad lasts. If you make it on Sunday, dress it, and keep it in the fridge, it’ll still be great on Wednesday.
The salad is endlessly versatile, so use your imagination and what’s currently in your fridge. Here are some ideas:
- Red or tricolor quinoa instead of white.
- Instead of radicchio chop other lettuces such as Romaine, spinach or arugula.
- Not into dried currants? Try cranberries, blueberries, raisins or chopped apricots.
- Instead of pistachios, chop some walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or throw in some pine nuts.
- Sprouts are awesome, but so is chopped mint, cilantro, parsley or dill.
- I love the kicky, spicy habañero flavor, but you can use other chilies like jalapeño, too. Or skip altogether if spicy isn’t your thing.
More salads. More Quinoa. Check out these recipes from my library:
Do you bring salad to your office? Are you into quinoa?
Tell me in the comments.Print
Cooked quinoa mixed with vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, and dressed with a refreshing lemon-mustard dressing.
- For the salad:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup radicchio, finely chopped
- ½ cup dried currants
- ½ cup sprouts (daikon or broccoli)
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 1 tablespoon finely diced habañero chili (optional)
- For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 lemon)
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve (to prevent it from slipping through the holes) under cold running water. Washing it removes the natural bitter saponin coating.
- Place it in a small stockpot, and add 2 cups of cold water. Cover the pot partially with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low, cover completely with a lid, and let simmer undisturbed, until the water has evaporated, and the quinoa is fluffy and translucent.
- Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet or tray, spread and let cool (about 30 minutes). This step can be done one day ahead. (Cover the tray and store in a cool place if you’re not making the salad right away).
- In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, radicchio, currants, sprouts, pistachio, and habañero chili.
- Prepare the dressing. Whisk the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. In a slow stream, pour in the olive oil and keep whisking until emulsified. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a small jar with a lid, and shake until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss until coated. Taste for salt and adjust. Let sit for 10 minutes for the quinoa to absorb the dressing. Serve immediately.
- Store the salad in the fridge for up to 4 days. (You can mix the salad with the dressing or store them separately).
- Store the dressing in the fridge for up to 10 days. It’s great on other salads too!
- You can add a slightly smoky flavor to the salad by dry-toasting the quinoa after you rinse it and before you boil it.