Believe it or not, this was my first effort using quinoa. I just kept slicing and dicing and mixing and tasting and the end result was pretty good. Our neighbors were grilling some lamb with mint jelly for a sunset party and I thought this might make a nice side dish. I garnished the finished salad with crumbled feta cheese and served some extra cheese on the side, which added a nice creaminess and a bit of salt to each bite. Leftovers were delicious used the next day as an hors d’oeuvres scooped up on pita chips. I’m documenting from memory here so I can try again with photos when I next have the time.
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water
Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook five minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff and cool. Toss in a large bowl with the salad ingredients and dressing below.
Use as much or as little as you like and any variety you like, in true Creative Recipe fashion. This is what I used:
Fresh Carrots – peeled and grated. I used fresh unpeeled carrots because they really do taste better than the prepackaged minis. I used the small shred on my hand grater.
Celery – very small dice
Sweet Red Bell Pepper – very small chop (I chose red for the color)
Red Onion – very fine dice
Yellow Squash – grated. I used one small squash (tastes better than the large) and grated it with the skin on, using the large shred on my hand grater .
Radicchio – thinly sliced and chopped. This adds a great color and a nice bitter contrast
Mandarin Oranges – 1 can, drained and chopped. This was an after thought – or I should say after I tasted the salad. It seemed too much on the bitter side from the radicchio, and the oranges added a nice sweetness and balanced the radicchio.
Juice of 1 small Lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Sugar or Honey to taste (start with 1 teaspoon and go from there)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon dried Dill Weed
Coarsely ground Black Pepper to taste