Confession time: I like to eat green salads, but I don’t really like to make them. So, years ago I started making Greek salad, and as time went on simplified it down to the point where my go-to fresh salad is a quick and easy mix of tomato and cucumber with the easiest of dressings.
I’ve recently discovered quinoa (a little behind the times on that, don’t you think?) and have been seeing quite a few mentions out there on fellow bloggers’ sites of quinoa salads. So, I decided to add quinoa to my faithful standby salad.
(A bit of an aside … my last post was about an orange and cardamom coffee cake that took three attempts to get right. I had a similar experience in the quinoa department, even though there’s no reason it shouldn’t be the easiest thing to make. This ‘third time’s the charm’ thing is getting a little old. The first time I cooked quinoa, it turned out soggy and wet. The second time, I actually burned it, through simple inattention. Thank goodness it turned out just right the third time. It’s starting to feel like I have some kind of Goldilock’s syndrome or something. Sheesh!)
There are many methods for cooking quinoa, but here’s the one I used. Rinse one part of quinoa well, then add to 1-1/2 to almost 2 parts water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or so, covered, until the water is absorbed. Let it stand for five minutes, fluff with a fork, and it’s ready to use.
Thursday evening I made this salad for dinner. It took almost no time, was easy as pie (no, quite a bit easier than pie) and fresh and satisfying. Along with some leftover Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup that I’d made earlier in the week, and some 9-grain bread from the market, we had a quick, nutritious, super tasty and perhaps surprisingly filling dinner.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Quinoa ❊ (This salad served the two of us.) Cut half an English Cucumber into quarters lengthwise, then chop into cubes. Cut a more or less equal volume of grape or cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on size. Combine in a bowl with freshly ground pepper to taste and about 1 tsp dried oregano. Add 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar (lemon juice is a nice substitution), and stir together. I recommend leaving this to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes before serving, stirring once or twice if you think of it. Just before serving, add 1/4 cup quinoa that has been cooked and cooled. Stir all the ingredients together. If you like, provide optional crumbled feta cheese to tumble on top.