Sometimes salads can be so so good. Quinoa has been a long-time staple in my kitchen, but it’s only this summer that I have really rekindled my passion for it. Once again, it is becoming one of my favorite thing for adding to salads. Grain-like, but not really a grain, I love it’s wonderfully nutty flavor and the way it seems to just pop in your mouth.
With fresh summer flavors, this quinoa salad is pretty straightforward. There are crisp baby cucumbers, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, spinach, and my favorite herb in the world – cilantro. All tossed together in a totally delicious honey-lemon-ginger dressing. Yum!
Hot, steamy, summery wonderful — with 38°C in Hamburg this past weekend (yep that’s considered a heat wave in Northern Germany), we made a definitive plan — escape the city and head to the beach. And rather than rely on kiosk fast food, we opted for a picnic – with any luck a heat wave proof picnic. The question was what on earth to bring when it is this sizzling hot?!
So between the 5 of us, we decided on:
- A summery heat challenge ready quinoa salad — here it is!
- Beluga lentil salad — courtesy of Ines, stay tuned, it was amazing!
- Schwabish potato salad (ps: this one is a tad heat sensitive, it’s best keep it in a cooler bag, otherwise leftovers won’t keep)
- Two types of hummus, plus a yummy eggplant dip
- Feta cheese, because in my opinion this tastes great on most salads
- Fresh tortilla wraps, since together all of the above make for delicious tasting wraps
- Our favorite bread for dipping of course
- And a simple and refreshing watermelon salad
All packed in a cooler bag and off we went. With the temperatures ever increasing and traffic too, time was of the essence, so this was a quick snapshot of a super spontaneous, super delicious picnic salad.
Full of good healthy things, this salad is packed with vitamins, protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and iron. And it will last for a couple days chilled, making it a great make-ahead salad for picnics and potluck gatherings. Enjoy!
Summer Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lemon-Ginger Dressing
Serves 6 – 8
For the salad:
1 cup uncooked red or black quinoa (I used a mix, rinsed) (200 g)
2-3 baby cucumbers (or one English cucumber, seeded), diced
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 handfuls baby spinach, washed and shredded
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
freshly squeezed juice from 2 lemons
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1. Add 1 cup of dried quinoa with 2 1/2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes then fluff quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, oil and ginger.
3. Once the quinoa has cooled, transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in the dressing. Add the cucumber, tomato, spinach and cilantro and toss to combine. Enjoy!