Summer food. When I think of summer I picture kabobs, big bowls of watermelon, and salads. There's a pristine element to a salad. It feels light - perfect end to a day of gardening.
I love squash. Any color, any kind.
This salad’s base is quinoa. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. It's like a health monarch. A complete protein - containing all nine essential amino acids. The flavor is somewhat nutty and it adds great texture to salads like this one.
All of our salad components get tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and topped with big strips of parmesan. Which, as we all know, makes everything delicious.
I've found through all my "quinoa research" that the worst mistake one can make with this grain is the failure to employ a thorough rinsing process. Even if you buy quinoa that is "pre-rinsed" you still need to clean it. Dirty quinoa tastes excessively bitter.
I measure out what I plan to use and pour it into a fine-mesh strainer and run it under cold water for about 5 minutes, tossing it around with my fingers several times.
This salad could be served as a side dish or you could add some grilled chicken and call it dinner. Enjoy!
Summer Squash and Quinoa Salad
recipe adapted from bon appetit magazine / serves 4
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve and drained
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt + extra for seasoning
- 1/2 lb yellow squash
- 1/2 lb zucchini
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan + 1/4 cup shaved with a peeler
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
Bring quinoa and 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Season water with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes or until quinoa is tender - not mushy. Drain; return to pot and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool to room temperature. Using a mandolin cut squash into thin slices - some lengthwise, some crosswise. Transfer squash into a large bowl and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and toss to coat. Let sit until wilted, about 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. In a separate bowl whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, and vinegar. Gradually whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Combine squash, quinoa and parsley and toss in dressing. Garnish with shaved Parmesan. Enjoy!