While there has been some debate as to whether or not quinoa is actually paleo, it is classified as a seed, not a grain, so I will use it occasionally. It is high in protein, fat and amino acids, and is considered quite nutritious. On top of that it tastes good. It has a similar taste to barley, and is about the size of couscous. Here I used fresh summer squash and citrus to make a refreshing salad that can be a side dish or a hearty vegan main. I adapted this particular recipe from this month’s issue of bon appetit magazine.
2 tsp kosher salt
1 lb assorted summer squash
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp peach white balsamic vinegar*
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts
Bring quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil. Season with salt, and reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, until quinoa is tender, but not mushy. Drain using a mesh sieve and return quinoa to pan. Cover tightly and let sit for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile slice squash into about 1/8 inch slices and season with salt. Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse well. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Make the dressing by whisking together lemon juice, vinegar and zest in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large serving bowl, and toss with dressing. This dish can be served hot, room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
*If you can’t find peach white balsamic, plain will do. It can be found in the vinegar section of most supermarkets next to the regular balsamic.