"Living Pantry"

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salad.JPG

"Cook with What You Have" Blogger, Katherine Deumling talked about how important it is to have "live" herbs...a.k.a. a "Living Pantry" in your kitchen. Click here for more information about Katherine.

Spring Quinoa Salad with Herbs and Radishes

This is a very adaptable salad (template). Substitute vegetables and herbs as you wish just be sure to chop everything quite small. This is a good dinner salad on a warm night especially if you add cooked beans, cheese and/or toasted seeds or nuts or cooked chicken.

This makes a lot of salad so feel free halve the recipe. I load mine up with herbs—mint, parsley, cilantro, chives and thyme. The more the better!

Serves 6

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • One bunch radishes, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 cups bok choi stems, cut into small dice
  • 2 cups arugula, fairly finely chopped
  • 4 green onions (scallions) or 1 shallot or 1/2 a small onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, basil, dill, sorrel, cilantro in any combination)
  • Salt and pepper

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa in a fine meshed sieve under cold, running water for a minute. Quinoa has a natural coating (saponin) which is a bit bitter and the rinsing removes it. Put the rinsed quinoa in a pan and add 2 1/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring it to a boil then cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook, for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Put in a large serving bowl and let cool while you prepare the vegetables.

In a small bowl whisk mustard, garlic, zest and vinegar until smooth. Slowly add oil while whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. This dressing needs to be salty and tart. The quinoa will absorb a lot. You’ll be surprised how much vinegar and salt you need especially if you don’t serve it right away.

Add the vegetables and herbs to the cooked and cooled quinoa and drizzle on most of the dressing and mix well and taste and adjust with more dressing and/or salt and pepper as needed.