Quinoa has kind of become the new hip health food. Of course, the grain has been around forever, with the Incas even considering the food sacred.
Health food junkies love it because it’s high in fiber and protein (7g and 14g, respectively) and also has a good amount of iron and folate. I mean, if you care about such matters. What I know is that my body feels good when I eat this salad.
But what to do with quinoa? Treat it like couscous? Like rice? I, for one, go the tabbouleh-style route. I go to my garden, grab what I can, chop it up, and viola!
Garden Quinoa Salad.
- 1 cup dry quinoa
First off, rinse or soak the quinoa. This removes what are called “saponins,” which may make the quinoa taste bitter to you. Boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, but if you buy it in bulk, rinse just to be sure. Drain off the water.
Heat a pan to medium-high and toss in your favorite cooking oil. I have homemade garlic oil I like to use to give the dish a bit more complexity.
When the oil is hot, add the quinoa. Watch and stir it. You want to lightly toast it, but not burn it.
Once it’s toasted, lower the heat to medium and add two cups of water. (Remember to double the water when cooking this grain.) Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, making it light and fluffy.
For this recipe, you want the quinoa cool. If you have time, just toss it in the ‘fridge. When I’m cheating, I pop it in a glass bowl and put it in the freezer while I chop the other ingredients.
I cut them all together, and chop fine.
As far as the feta goes, just crumble it. Store-bought feta is just great, but I’m lucky enough to have a supplier at the Farmers Market here who makes amazing goat milk feta. It’s the best way I’ve ever tried goat cheese.
Once the quinoa is cool, toss all the ingredients together. This works as the main dish in a vegetarian dinner or it’s great as a side.
Image: out by my garden. Don’t forget to eat your flowers!