Yellow Squash and Red Quinoa Salad
This trio of chunky vegetables, fresh herbs and protein-rich quinoa makes a balanced side dish for any meal or even a perfect meatless dinner. A small amount of feta cheese adds tanginess and additional protein.
- 1 1/2 cups (8 oz./250 g) red quinoa
- 2 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. (500 g) yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 small cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks
- 5 green onions, white and tender green parts, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
- 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) crumbled feta cheese
In a fine-mesh strainer, thoroughly rinse the quinoa under cold running water and drain. In a saucepan, bring 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, stir once and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender, about 25 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes, covered, then fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large fry pan, heat the 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the squash, season with salt and cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
On a cutting board, using a fork or the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic into a paste with a pinch of salt. In a small bowl, stir together the mashed garlic and lemon juice and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil to make a vinaigrette.
Put the quinoa, squash, cucumber, green onions, basil, mint and feta in a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss gently to mix and coat well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Good for You, by Dana Jacobi (Weldon Owen, 2013)