Cathy's Garden Fresh Cooking Blog

Very Green Quinoa Salad

I have been experimenting with Quinoa, serving it stuffed in Portobello Mushrooms (see recipe under herbs), using in place of couscous or rice and thought I would try it as a cold salad. I was wondering if it would change texture like cold rice, getting hard and a bit crunchy, but the quinoa held up its shape and texture. I created this Very Green Quinoa Salad; it tasted incredibly light and refreshing. I pulled the Lemon-Basil Pesto from the freezer and brought a taste of summer back on a cold day of 15 degrees. I tested it on the Bunco Babes who, like many, have not had quinoa and they seemed to love it, with many going back for seconds. I felt like a spokeswoman for quinoa giving them tips on how to cook it, where to buy it, etc…

Very Green Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

½ pound green beans

1/3 cup Lemon-Basil Pesto*

¾ teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1-14 ounce artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

Place quinoa in a fine strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain well. In a medium saucepan place 2 cups of water and the rinsed quinoa. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender but still chewy and a white spiral-like thread appears around each grain, about 15 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.

Cook green beans until tender crisp. I used Dragon Beans from my freezer, which turn yellow when cooked; I think the green would have been a prettier presentation. I placed the frozen green beans on a plate, added a splash of water, topped with a piece of wax paper and microwaved on the “frozen vegetable” button. Smart microwave, that little button worked perfectly! Once cool enough to handle cut into 1-2 inch pieces.

In a mixing bowl add quinoa, lemon-basil pesto, salt, black pepper and lemon juice; mix gently until thoroughly combined.  Add green beans, toss. Finally add artichoke hearts and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. Place in a serving bowl and serve at room temperature or cold. This makes a whole bowl full, about 6 side servings.

 The next day I added flaked  tuna to the cold quinoa salad, it was a delicious lunch!

*Look under “basil” for the Lemon-Bail Pesto recipe. I had some in the freezer from my summer harvest, just place the amount needed in a dish and let thaw before adding to the quinoa.

Reader Feedback

2 Responses to “Very Green Quinoa Salad”

  • John Bailey says:

    I’ve been curious about quinoa for a few years. I’d love to try eating, and growing it! I thought I saw it in Pinetree, but it’s not in this year’s cat. I’m thinking it’s from S. America, staple grain of the Incas, or Mayans or Aztecs. They probably all used it!
    I looked it up, it’s of the goosefoot family(beets,chard, spinach).I’ll bet it can be picked for greens too! I’ll look for seed online.
    P.S. Mom LOVED the bread, pudding, and chicken/corn chowder you sent! THANKS!!!
    LTA ( Love To All), Farmer John

  • Cathy says:

    Hi Farmer John, it’s good to hear from you. Yes everyone, this is Farmer John I talk about. He sends me the most wonderful organic produce and can answer my gardening questions.
    John I looked and Quinoa is originally from the Andes region of South America, the product I have is from Bolivia. We eat the seed, it is tiny! You would have to grow a lot to get a bag full. I’ll send you some raw and cooked for you to try.
    Good to hear from you 🙂

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