I’ve been cooking quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) quite a lot lately and we really love it. It’s easy to prepare and similar to rice in it’s cooking method. I look at it as a high-protein carbohydrate that is ready to be flavoured however you like. This salad is a good example. It can be made ahead a day, is a great traveller for a picnic/bbq, and just tastes damn fine. So why not try it as a way to start using quinoa? Make sure you rinse the quinoa well before cooking and buy organic if you can.
Lemon Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Feta and Carmelized Onion
adapted from Dish Entertains
serves about 8
1 cup of quinoa (uncooked)
1/4 cup of butter or ghee
2 red onions (white onions are fine if you don’t have red, but red looks better in the salad), sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced feta cheese (1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes)
6 cups baby spinach, washed and chopped coarsely
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions. When done, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and cool.
Heat a large pan over medium heat, and melt butter or ghee. Add onions, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Put in more butter if it gets dry. Add minced garlic and continue to cook until onions are golden brown – about 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, feta, lemon zest and spinach. Add 1/2 a cup of Simple Vinaigrette (recipe below) and season with salt and pepper. Serve cool or at room temperature.
*I used preserved lemons in the recipe which work well also
makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar (your choice – I used balsamic)
juice of 2 lemons (that you already zested for salad)
2 tsp maple syrup or honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp dijon mustard
Mix all ingredients.