May 17, 2010

Tangy quinoa salad

I don’t know why anyone would make boring old pasta salad when they could make quinoa salad.  This tiny grain has a subtle nutty flavor, and is a completeprotein with a perfect balance of all nine essential amino acids. Nirvana for non-meat eaters.

For this particular quinoa salad, I was envisioning something on the tart side. But when I tasted my experiment, I thought I’d gone way overboard with the lime juice.  In an attempt to tone it down, I threw in some currants. And what do you know, I had created the perfect balance. It’s sweet, sour, nutty and crunchy – what more do you want in a salad?

Tangy Quinoa Salad

2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1 cup quinoa (well-rinsed, unless you have the pre-rinsed variety)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 3/4 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons dried currants

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a saucepan. Add quinoa and spices. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes, until quinoa smells toasty. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but still a bit crunchy. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.

Combine the garlic, lime juice, cilantro, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Add the quinoa, onion, peppers, almonds and currants and mix well. Season with additional salt to taste.

Serves 4

See more recipes: Gluten-free, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan


  • Darienne

    Have to tell you, this salad is just a little bit of OK. Served it again tonight to guests and they loved it. It will be my ‘go to’ salad this summer also! Thanks so much. Darienne

  • Ann

    Love the salad. Definitely a perfect summer meal. I am loving all your recipes.

  • Sarah

    This was AMAZING! It was so easy, and full of wonderful flavor. As a new, very busy mom, this is absolutely going into the rotation! Thank you!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    That’s great to hear, Sarah!

  • Lindsey

    Does the quinoa need to be wet before toasting? Just wondering because I always buy the pre-rinsed type.

  • No, it’s actually better if the quinoa is dry

  • Lindsey

    OK so I only had to buy currants – had everything else on hand remarkably – but where do I find currants in New York?? I’m from England originally where they are as available as raisins, but all I can find are Zante Currants?? Are they the same thing? Getting nowhere with Google.

  • Yes, Zante currants are the same thing. Currants are available next to raisins at just about any grocery store. Good luck!

  • Carly


  • Hailo

    Yummy….my dinner tonight!

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