Spring Salad: Quinoa, Spinach, Parsley & Chives

Hello spring.

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.


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Jessie said…
Thank you for posting a gluten free recipe! I love your site and always hope for something I can make too!

Anonymous said…
1 cup of heavy cream? PW must have been high on fumes de lavandre when she thought up that addition. Love your version, and your pretty pink rimmed plate. I want it for lunch, too - but only if a spool of dental floss was at the ready for post munch clean-up.
Julie said…
Oooh - divine! This is right up my alley!
Joanne said…
What's the point of eating salad if you're just going to load it up with heavy cream? Oh no, the vinaigrette sounds just perfect for this!
emmycooks said…
I have never toasted quinoa before cooking it, but I always like to learn new ways to use ingredients! I'll have to try it. And I love lemon vinaigrette--but I bet the cream is good too. :)
Oui, Chef said…
I was thinking of making a quinoa tabbouleh for a class I'm teaching next week, but I may make this instead. It looks fabulous!
Lori Lynn said…
I will try this!
Lori Lynn said…
P.S. Pretty pink plate, really frames the salad!
Anonymous said…
This sounds yum! I love quinoa, and I am always looking for new ways to try it.