Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Peachy Quinoa Salad

Get it?

Peachy quin-oa.

As in "peachy keen" + "wa".

It's fun to be me! Really it is.

So, today's is another salad post. I know these are less interesting than desserts and cocktails. But, well, salad is an important and consistent part of my kitchen repertoire, especially throughout spring and summer. And salad can be enjoyable to eat if you put some effort into it and/or have wonderfully fresh ingredients on hand.

I wouldn't lie to you.

Salad can be amazing.

We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday. I did this thing I do quite a lot between May and October, which is serve several smaller-plate, fresh, herby foods rather than one hearty item. I made two kinds of salad (including Peachy Quinoa Salad) and two sandwiches. It was a light, summery meal that went great with the cocktails I decided to share with others after enjoying them solo the previous night.

It was a nice, casual meal. Plus the condo stayed cool because I didn't have to cook anything. And I don't have much else to say other than that everything was varying degrees of delicious and healthy and worth trying immediately. Quinoa, especially, is as good for you as it is mispronounced. It is full of protein and it's pretty. I used red quinoa here but any kind (or color, anyway) would work. Diced mangos or tangerine segments would be a good substitute for the peaches.

Peachy Quinoa
From me
Yield: about 4 cups; a side dish for 6-8

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar or sugar
2 teaspoons lime or lemon or grapefruit juice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups water
1 15-ounce can (or 1-1/2 cups cooked) black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeƱo, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 peaches or nectarines, chopped (I used white peaches because I love them love them love them)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.

In 1 or 2-quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the quinoa and saute for about a minute in the oil, stirring so that all the quinoa is coated, then add 1.5 cups water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, stir a bit and let cool.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies if you haven't yet.

Drain the black beans if they're canned.

Gently fold all the ingredients together. Dress with about half the dressing. Put the remaining dressing on the table for those who may want more. Garnish with fresh cilantro or mint leaves. Serve as is or over bed of lettuce tossed with 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing.


  1. hi! What a delightful recipe! But I also kind of want to know what kind of sandwiches you made for a dinner party?

  2. Dude. I'll post the sandwiches later this week. I can't post everything at once or else I'd run out of things to post about. I am not so prolific as Smitten Kitchen.

  3. Should this salad be served warm from the stovetop or can it be made in advance and served cold from the fridge?

  4. I serve it warm initially, but the cold leftovers are great and I don't warm them. The quinoa usually starts out hot, and then once it's tossed with the other fresher, room temp or cold ingredients, it ends up a nice autumnal "warm".