Spring Salad: Quinoa, Spinach, Parsley & Chives
This salad could turn me into a vegetarian.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA) is an ancient grain packed with protein and other great health benefits. Why don't I eat it more often?
This salad is from Patricia Wells' book, Salad as a Meal. The author calls for 1 cup of heavy cream to add to the dressing at the end, but that ain't happening. Heavy cream and salads are not friends, ew. I thought about substituting yogurt, but decided to nix the white creamy stuff all together and just stick with a simple lemon vinaigrette.
I used that beautiful black quinoa again from Great Grains (love). In this recipe you toast the quinoa for 6 minutes or so until you hear it pop and get fragrant, it makes a difference in the taste. Very pretty contrast with the greens. I had it for lunch 3 days in a row. Good warm, room temp or chilled. It was that yummy. Hope you try it.
Quinoa Salad w/ Spinach, Parsley, Spring Onions and Chives: (loosely adapted from Salad as a Meal)
1 1/2 cups of quinoa
2.5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
2 dried bay leaves
6 scallions, white parts only, sliced thin
1/3 cup of minced chives
5 oz. of fresh spinach, cut into chiffonade
big handful of fresh flat leaf parsley (about 1.5 cups)
juice of a whole lemon (save the rind for the zest)
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Mix the dressing ingredients in a mini chopper or food processor, until it resembles a loose pesto. Taste and season w/ salt if needed.
In a 12" heavy skillet, lay out the quinoa and toast it dry, for about 6 minutes, until it starts to pop and get fragrant.
While the quinoa is toasting, bring the stock to a boil with the bay leaves in a heavy saucepan. Add the toasted quinoa to the stock and turn down the heat. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
Add the quinoa, scallions, chives and dressing to a bowl and toss. Add in the spinach leaves and mix together.
Garnish with lemon zest and serve either warm or chilled.
PS and for all my GF friends, this recipe is gluten free.