Summer squash and quinoa salad with walnuts

Posted on August 1, 2012

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quinoa


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.

1/2 cup red quinoa rinsed in a fine mesh sieve 

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.

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