I haven’t been using quinoa since that much time, but I like it a lot. Especially during these hot summer days, it’s just perfect to use it for a cold salad.
First I thought it was a cereal, but looking it up it’s really not. Quinoa is related and resembled amaranth and is a pseudocereal. It’s primarily grown for its seeds that have so much flavor. It contains a lot of dietary fibers, healthy fats, high-quality proteins and compared to grains it has much more vitamins and minerals! That’s why they even call it a “superfood”. Even though I’m not into bitter and quinoa tends to taste slightly bitter, it’s really delicious! If you really don’t like bitter at all make sure you wash the quinoa carefully before using it. You will wash the bitter layer off. I usually use the red quinoa as it contains even more dietary fibers than the white quinoa. It also has a more nutty flavor and it adds some colour to the dish 😉 .
Cold salads are also wonderful to bring when you’re having a picnic. If you organize a picnic it’s very useful that you make something you can prepare in advance. So you don’t have to stress last minute… I normally make either cold pasta salads or cold farro or pearl barley salads, but this red quinoa salad is a real good alternative just to change once every now and then! I do love bread in various ways as well but no picnic should be without at least one tasty cold salad! Or at least it’s what we think in Italy 😀
Red Quinoa Salad
serves 1 big bowl – 4/6 persons
170 g // 1 cup red quinoa
50 g // 1/3 cup black olives (pitted)
15 cherry tomatoes
100 g // 3,5 oz feta cheese
Place quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a bare simmer and let gently cook for about 15 minutes, or until you see small tails on the quinoa seeds. Set aside to cool. Cut the olives in slices, cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters and cut the feta cheese in small cubes. Combine olives, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese with the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add as much basil leaves as you like and drizzle with olive oil. Give it a good toss with either a wooden spoon or your hands.