Summer squash and quinoa salad with walnuts

Posted on August 1, 2012


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.

Posted in: Today's recipe