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Quinoa-Arugula Salad

submitted by willandleah on Feb-4-05
average rating: 3.5 (from 2 votes)
(this recipe is good for lunch/dinner)
(this recipe is suitable for vegetarians)
servings: 4

This is slightly adapted from Didi Emmons's Vegetarian Planet, where it's called Quinoa-Sorrel Salad.  I never seem to find sorrel, but I'm sure its sour tanginess would be good here, although different from the pepperly arugula.  I no longer measure the amounts for the vinaigrette, but I suggest doing so the first time at least, just to get a sense of how damp it is  meant to be.
One of the great hardships of pregnancy, as far as I was concerned, was giving up this salad due to its feta content; I think I cheated and made it a few times anyway.  Lucy seems unaffected (and, indeed, now eats this salad, although with the arugula removed).

1 1/2 cups quinoa
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 small bunch arugula (rocket), stemmed and julienned
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 ripe tomato, chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 -1/2 cup feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

Put the quinoa into a fine-meshed sieve and rinse very thoroughly under cold running water (it's very important to get all the bitter saponin off the grain or trust me, it will taste awful).  Allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

Heat a wide skillet (with a lid) over medium-high heat.  Add a tablespoon of the olive oil.  When it's hot, add the quinoa and toast, stirring, until it smells grainy and good (about 2 minutes).  Add the water and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.  Allow the quinoa to steam for about 15 minutes, or until it has absorbed the water.

While the quinoa cooks, make the vinaigrette: combine the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil in a large bowl.  Add the arugula, red onion, and tomato, and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

When the quinoa is done, add it to the bowl.  Toss well to distribute the vinaigrette, and add the feta.  Toss again.  Taste for balance; this is where I often find I need a little more vinegar to bring up the flavours, but trust your own palate.

Didi suggests serving it on a bed of mixed greens, but we usually forgo that fillip and just eat it as is.  As a main course, it will serve four moderate eaters with something else to follow (or who maybe follow the mixed greens advice), or two piggy ones who just can't resist having seconds, and thirds, and then licking out the bowl.

steveandsarah, Feb-4-05 18:27:30:
We've made this a lot also... sorrel is great if you can find it but we can't usually so we've substituted arugula also.
sarahjane, May-29-06 15:52:33:
I've been meaning to make this for ages and finally did. It turned out very well. I also ignored the bed of greens suggestions and just used a LOT of arugula. My 3 spoon rating is perhaps unfair as it is due to the fact that I don't LOVE quinoa and would have preferred it with couscous. But quinoa is indubitably much more nourishing - an important consideration when you're eating for two, as I am.

Incidentally, I've been eating it hot which works very well.

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