Monday, September 18, 2023

MONDAY RECIPE POST - MAKE-AHEAD QUINOA SALAD WITH CUCUMBER, TOMATO, AND HERBS

This salad has a dressing that is nice and light and had only two ingredients, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I found it here.

Make-ahead Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Tomato and Herbs

Serves 4 to 6 people
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

1 cup Quinoa
1 pint grape tomatoes, split into quarters 
1 large cucumber, seeds removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or use a hot house cucumber, or miniature cucumbers where you don't need to deseed)
Kosher salt to taste
2 small shallots, minced
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine Quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan.  

Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 7 minutes.  

Shut off heat and let rest until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer Quinoa to a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until thoroughly chilled. Let drain for 10 minutes.

While Quinoa cooks, combine tomatoes and cucumbers in a colander set in the sink.

Season with the Kosher salt to taste and toss to coat.

Let drain in sink until ready to combine with Quinoa.

In a large bowl, toss drained Quinoa, drained tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, parsley, mint, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Serve immediately or, for the best flavor, let rest overnight in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Salad can be stored in the sealed container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.


What did we think of this recipe?  Very enjoyable, a pretty salad served with your main dish.  

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) I don't have very often, but I like the texture.  I once read that Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire, and that they referred to it as the mother of all grains, believing it to be sacred.  It actually isn't a grain but is a seed that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.  It has been consumed for thousands of years in South America, but reached a 'superfood' status several years ago and is now very popular and considered very healthy.

I changed three of the ingredients by replacing the shallots with green onions and the fresh mint with fresh basil.  I also used a hothouse cucumber, the kind you don't have to remove the seeds.


Added note: I made this dish again a week later.  I was curious what it would be like using Orzo pasta.  I replaced the Quinoa with the Orzo.  This time we added a slice of crusty bread, thinly sliced Dubliner cheese and Branston chutney, which made a semi Ploughman's supper, similar to the one below.

You can change the ingredients to your own tastes but a Ploughman's basics traditionally are bread, cheese, a selection of deli meat and pickle.  My favorites are a freshly baked wholewheat bread roll, two wedges of cheese, usually Stilton and Sharp Cheddar, sliced ham, lettuce with onion, gherkins, cucumber and tomato wedges, and Branston Chutney.  I add a glass of cider if I am out and about.  


Here is a photo of the salad with orzo pasta.  


Thanks for looking and 
I wish you all a great week.



40 comments:

  1. Salad looks delicious. I like both quinoa and orzo. I used to do the ploughman's platter for Saturday lunch, take it outside and eat.

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    1. Wonderful! Ploughmans is perfect for eating outside :) Thanks Betsy!

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  2. I have never eaten quinoa. But I find this history about it very interesting! Which version did you like the best...the quinoa or the orzo?

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    1. Hi Ginny :) It’s hard to choose as I like both a lot. What I do like is a change of pace and it’s nice to alternate between the two. Both are delicious versions. I know what my dear other half would say, he would choose the orzo.

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  3. Salads are wonderful. Particularly those you can make ahead.

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  4. I haven't eaten quinoa either. Looks good though.

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    1. I enjoy it but know it’s not everyone’s choice. Thanks Margaret :)

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  5. It looks certainly appetitising to eat!

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  6. Hello,
    I have tried quinoa, it was mixed with veggies. I like both the quinoa and the orza pasta. Your salads look delicious. Take care, have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, glad you like them :) You take care and have a wonderful week also.

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  7. It looks really delicious. I've only had quinoa once and the jury is still out on whether or not I like it.

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    1. Thanks Ann, it is one of those foods that has that effect :)

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  8. Thank you for commenting over on my blog! Quinoa is one of my favorite foods. Thanks for sharing the salad recipe. I'd love to make it sometime.

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    1. Hi Julia, you are very welcome, I enjoyed my visit very much. I hope you enjoy the salad when try it :)

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  9. I have never eaten or even seen, orzo and Quinoa. it looks good now i wonder what it tastes like

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    1. Always fun to try new-to-us foods :) Thanks Sandra!

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  10. You make the most Yummy salads, Denise. Yes, I think the orzo is a nice switch. That deli spread looks wonderful too. There's nothing like breads, cheeses, olives, etc. for a filling meal.

    Have a blessed week.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Happy you think so Sheri :) I agree with you, and I feel there are times when the simplest foods are the best. You have a blessed week also.

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  11. You eat well. I often make Orzo Salad and enjoy it for several days. Delicious. However, I am not familiar with Quinoa.

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    1. Hello Gigi, if you like grains, you may enjoy Quinoa. We also have leftovers :)

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  12. I think I personally prefer orza to quinoa.

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  13. Both of your salads look so good. It's been forever since I prepared quinoa. The Ploughman's Plate is right up my alley--yum! Have a wonderful week, my friend.

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen :) We will also be having a Ploughmans in the not too distant future. We are planning a picnic for this week, or early next. You have a wonderful week also my friend :)

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  14. Quinoa is very popular ...
    Enjoy your week.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I agree Jan and thank you, I wish you the same :)

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  15. That looks tasty, Denise. And good fiber, too!

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  16. Looks good.
    I have some quinoa that needs to get used up.

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    1. Thanks Sandra, this would be a good recipe for that :)

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  17. The recipe looks good, Denise, and like Gregg, we would also chose the orzo over the quinoa. The ploughman's platter made me think of a charcuterie board which we really enjoy putting together...and then eating. It's even better with some homemade focaccia.😋

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    1. Thanks Dorothy, Gregg will always prefer pasta and it's delicious that way too :) As for homemade focaccia, oh yes!!! :)))

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