Summer cuisine is all about celebrating the season’s bounty of fresh produce. It’s also laid-back: whirring up some pesto to spread on everything throughout the week, nibbling on cherries and berries, throwing stuff on the grill (outdoors or otherwise), feasting on sandwiches riverside, standing at the counter eating cold left-overs straight from the fridge. This colorful salad was created with that spirit in mind. Cooled, savory quinoa is combined with plump, juicy blueberries, crunchy pecans and radishes, fresh herbs, and an orange vinaigrette. We ate it for dinner recently with some baked tofu, and reveled in summer’s glory while the AC blasted.
*I used roasted hazelnut oil because I happened to have some, and while it’s very tasty here, you could certainly substitute another oil.
*If using unsalted bouillon, be sure to add some salt to the quinoa.
1 cup quinoa
little olive oil
1½ cups water + ½ a vegetable bouillon square (or 1½ c veg broth)
½ tsp mild curry powder
1 cup blueberries
2-3 radishes, cut in thin half moons
heaped ¼ cup roughly chopped pecans
1 scallion, thinly sliced (white and pale green part only)
1 tsp orange zest
4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
handful of fresh basil, chopped
handful of fresh mint, chopped
salt and black pepper
- In a fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Drain. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a small saucepan and add quinoa. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa smells toasty and water has evaporated. Pour in water and bouillon (or broth) and stir in curry powder, turn up heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat but keep lid on for another 15 minutes, then remove lid, fluff with a fork, and let cool.
- Add blueberries, pecans, scallion, and orange zest to cooled quinoa, and stir gently to combine, taking care not to smush the berries.
- Whisk together the orange juice, hazelnut oil, white vinegar, and some salt and black pepper, and drizzle over the quinoa mixture. Stir gently, then garnish with fresh basil and mint. Taste for seasonings.
Yield: About 4-6 servings