Wednesday, September 10, 2014


My ardor for quinoa has dimmed somewhat (blame overexposure, the fact that A has discovered/decided he doesn’t like it, and the newfound allure of farro), but I felt it spark anew when I saw this salad at The Kitchn. The original recipe calls it a Green Goddess dressing, but since it omits the traditional anchovies (fine by me) and replaces mayonnaise with creamy avocado, I’m just calling it “green.” Zesty with herbs, red pepper, vinegar, and lemon, it reminds me of chimichurri instead, even more so because I didn’t have the full quantity of basil and had to swap in some cilantro—a substitution that ended up being so tasty I made it official below.

If you find quinoa bland, this vibrant dressing is just the fix. All the other quinoa salads I’ve tried have light vinaigrettes, so a heavy dousing of thick, assertive sauce seemed strange at first, but it tastes so right. The dressing is totally the star here, but the other elements work surprisingly well together too; I’ve paired radishes and arugula before, but wouldn’t necessarily have thought to add edamame and walnuts to the mix. The colors are pretty, the flavors are fresh, and the mix of crunchy and creamy textures is addictive. I thought this might be the dish to redeem quinoa for A, but alas, he still didn’t dig it. Oh, well—that means more for me of what might be my new favorite salad. With three sources of protein (quinoa, edamame, and nuts), it makes a satisfying lunch all week long.

2 scallions, minced (white and light green parts only)
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt to taste
1 cup dry quinoa
3 cups arugula
1 cup shelled cooked edamame
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth. Add a little more water or oil to thin if necessary. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cool running water, then combine it in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until quinoa has absorbed the liquid and can easily be fluffed with a fork, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. While the quinoa is still a little warm, toss it with about half of the salad dressing, then add the arugula so the leaves wilt down a bit. Stir in the edamame, walnuts, and radishes, then slowly drizzle in the dressing.
Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good.

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