Quinoa and I have not always been friends. I much prefer rice and pasta over the hyped-up grain even though I know people love it. And what’s not to love: it’s gluten-free, packed with fiber and protein and it’s even Passover-friendly.
And since it’s that time of year when everyone is eating lighter, and colorful vegetables and fruits abound, I decided to give it another chance and added some hearty red quinoa to a salad recently. Lo and behold, I became a quinoa convert, adding it to salad after salad. I served a spinach and quinoa salad with fresh local strawberries earlier this summer for a Shabbat dinner with friends, and it was devoured.
I also used the same based of this salad adding fresh figs instead of berries, and it was equally delicious. Try it with plums, peaches or even some fresh roasted beets. Add a piece of grilled salmon, beans or chicken and dinner is done.
1 bag pre-washed fresh spinach
3/4 cup cooked red quinoa
1/2 seedless English cucumber
1 pint strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or a mix
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
For the dressing:
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place in spinach in a large bowl or on a platter. Top with quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries (or other fruit), sunflower seeds and feta cheese if desired.
Whisk together lemon juice and zest, Dijon and honey. Slowly whisk olive oil until dressing comes togethrt.PP
Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.