Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Summer Squash

Did anyone know that zucchini was good raw?  I have always been a huge fan of zucchini, yet I had never thought to try eating it raw; I simply assumed it should be cooked.   As it turns out, I was wrong. 

This salad has made a convert of me.   I found this recipe while flipping through this month's issue of Bon Appetit and I assumed that the zucchini was supposed to be roasted.  If I had seen that it called for raw zucchini, I probably would not have tried it in the first place and that would have been a great shame.

This salad is an excellent way to use up all of the extra zucchini around in August.  Not only does it require only minimal cooking, but it also tastes lovely.  The olive oil and lemon dressing complement the fresh herbs perfectly and the chickpeas and quinoa make this salad filling enough to be a vegetarian main course.   I am very happy to add it to my arsenal of cold summer salads.

Quinoa Salad with Summer Squash
Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2012
Yield: 5 entree-sized servings

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve, drained
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more or seasoning
1 lb assorted summer squash (I used zucchini and yellow zucchini instead of crook neck squash)
1 14 oz can of chickpeas (i.e.garbanzo beans)
3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan plus more for garnishing
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4  cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  1. Toast walnuts:  Preheat oven too 350 degrees.  Place walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven or 5-6 minutes or until they are slightly fragrant.  Be careful not to let them burn.
  2. Cook Quinoa:  Soak quinoa in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.  Then turn on the heat and bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover pot, and let it simmer until all of the water is absorbed (approximately 20-25 minutes).
  3. Quarter the squash lengthwise and slice each quarter, making your slices a quarter-inch thick.  Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt and toss to coat.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.  Rinse under cold water, drain, and pat dry with paper towel. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, vinegar, sugar, and oil together.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine squash, chickpeas, quinoa, parsley, and basil in a large bowl.  Toss with dressing. 
  6. Garnish each individual serving with walnuts* and extra Parmesan cheese.
* The recipe called for the walnuts to be mixed into the salad; however, I like to sprinkle them on top so that they remain crunchy since the crunch of the nuts is a nice contrast to the softer grain.

Calories: 403 per serving

1 comment: