If you find yourself thinking about pasta salad, why not think quinoa salad? It's quite nutritious, it takes no more than 15 minutes to cook, and it has a delicate consistency that takes well to vinaigrettes. In this salad, quinoa joins up with fresh sorrel, red onion, tomato, and feta cheese, and is then tossed in a light balsamic dressing. If you're wary about eating uncooked sorrel, you may be glad to know that it has been enjoyed as a salad green for many years in England. But use arugula instead, if you prefer.
1½ cups quinoa
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil, to taste
3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small bunch sorrel (or arugula), stemmed and cut into julienne strips
1 cup thinly slices red onion
1 ripe tomato, chopped
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup crumbles feta cheese or any tangy goat cheese (optional)
Mixed salad greens (I like to combine sorrel, watercress, Italian parsley. and red-leaf lettuce)
1: put the quinoa into a fine-meshed seive, and rinse the grain will under cold water for 1 minute to extract the bitter saponins. Let the quinoa drain for 2 minutes.
2: Heat a skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the quinoa. Cook it, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes or until the quinoa smells toasted. Add the water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bruing the mizture to a boil, cober the pan, and reduce the hat tolow. Let the quinoa ocok for 15 minutes.
3: While the quinoa cooks, combine the balsamic cinegar and remaining oli in a large bowl. Add the sorrel ro aruula, the red onlin, and the tomato. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.