Holidays are a great time to share food with friends. This year I decided to make a quinoa salad celebrating the theme for the Fourth of July. So I chose to make a Red and White Quinoa Salad and serve it in a big blue bowl. This salad is large enough to feed 35 people during a progressive dinner so you might want to scale it down for a family or small gathering of friends.
Red and White Quinoa Salad in a Big Blue Bowl
12 ounces white quinoa, cooked
12 ounces red quinoa, cooked
2 large red peppers, chopped
8 ounces of crimini mushrooms, diced
6 scallions, sliced
½ of a large red onion, thinly sliced
Generous handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
15 ounces garbanzo beans
(I make big batches of beans and freeze them so I measured, defrosted and allowed these to dry a bit. If you use canned beans, rinse them thoroughly and allow them to dry a bit.)
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 cup slivered almonds
Lemon Vinaigrette (recipes follows)
3 large lemons (about ½ cup)
1 ½ cups olive oil
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (adjust to taste)
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Process all ingredients in a small food processor or use a whisk to emulsify the vinaigrette.
Begin by cooking the quinoa. While the quinoa cooks, begin chopping your vegetables. Your quinoa will finish cooking before you finish chopping so when the quinoa is done, remove it from the heat, fluff with a fork and let it rest covered for another 10 minutes or so. Then remove the cover and allow the quinoa to cool while you finish chopping.
When all your vegetables are chopped, fold them into the quinoa along with the feta cheese crumbles and almonds.
Add the vinaigrette in increments of about ½ cup at a time until you are satisfied that your salad is seasoned properly to your liking. Leftover dressing can keep in the refrigerator for several days and can be used for green salads and pastas salads too.
Cover the salad and set it in the refrigerator to chill. This salad is best served chilled or at room temperature. It makes a great potluck side dish because it travels well. In fact, I take containers of this salad with me when I travel so I get my protein and vegetables, i.e. a complete meal, in flight and I don’t have to worry about spoilage or bringing a cooler as carry-on luggage.