From Eating From the Ground Up by Alana Chernila ($28, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2018)
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed, divided
- 8 oz cucumbers (4 small or 1 big), quartered lengthwise and cut into K-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 cup crumbled or cubed feta cheese
- 2 scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 lb beets (3 to 5 medium beets), cooked, peeled, and cut into small bites
- Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water.
- Transfer quinoa to a medium saucepan set over medium heat, and toast, stirring constantly, until quinoa dries out and smells nutty, about 2 minutes.
- Add boiling water, 1 teaspoon of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and bring mixture back to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook undisturbed for 18 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, uncover, and fluff quinoa with a fork.
- Transfer quinoa to a bowl about twice as large as you need to hold it. Let cool for a bit at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove bowl of quinoa from the refrigerator, gently stirring and tossing quinoa to fluff it up again.
- Add cucumbers, dill, feta, scallions, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup of oil, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring to combine.
- Gently fold in beets. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
The dressing for this salad makes it cold and pickle-y, and it’s jeweled with roasted beets and cucumbers that keep crunching up over time. Red quinoa is a bit nuttier than white, and the deep color means the whole thing doesn’t turn pink from the beets. This is also a summer picnic stunner.
- You can roast the beets for this salad, or if you have a pressure cooker, they go tender in 15 to 25 minutes, depending on their size.
- If you already have cooked quinoa, this salad comes together quickly, but if you’re starting from scratch, give yourself a bit of time to let the quinoa cool.
- The salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
308 Calories, 9 g Protein, 40 g Carbohydrates, 6 g Fiber, 14 g Total fat (3 g sat), 524 mg Sodium, ★★ Vitamin C, K, ★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium