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Quinoa Salad with Broccoli, Feta and Pine Nuts

Deciding what to cook these days is tricky here in Vancouver. One day I’m feeling like a hearty lentil soup, the next day it may be something cold and refreshing. But, regardless of the weather forecast, I am now declaring it time to bring out the salads and the barbecue and will begin today with a refreshing, healthy (quinoa and broccoli are both high in protein, calcium and iron) and satisfying salad, to be served on its own or perhaps accompanied by barbecued salmon or chicken. This salad, from Bon Appétit, really sings with the mint, but you can mix in other herbs according to what is in your refrigerator. It’s best served the day it is made, but leftovers will make a perfectly good lunch the next day.

1 1/2 c. red or white quinoa rinsed and drained
1 lb. broccoli, trimmed, cut into small florets
9 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 c. shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 c. Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. mint, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, cut into cubes
4 T. pine nuts, toasted, divided

Preheat oven to 450º. Bring quinoa and 4 c. water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is tender but not mushy, 12–15 minutes for red quinoa or 8–10 minutes for white. Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, toss broccoli with 2 T. oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat broccoli. Roast, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly; add to bowl with quinoa. Toast the pine nuts in a small pan at the same time, just until golden brown. (Pine nuts burn very quickly, so be sure to watch them as they will be ready before the broccoli.)

Whisk remaining 7 T. oil, lemon juice, vinegar and shallot in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley, cilantro, mint, feta, and 2 T. pine nuts to quinoa; pour vinaigrette over. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with remaining 2 T. pine nuts.

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