home cooked dinners by the season

Strawberry Quinoa Green Salad

Strawberry Quinoa Green Salad

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Inevitably we overate, stained our clothes and there were tears. Four siblings loaded into our Mercury Marquis station wagon, driven to the u-pick strawberry farm and unleashed to fill a flat. It wasn’t long before one of my brothers became bored with the picking and the eating and started flinging strawberries. My Mom knew to dress me in an old shirt and the darker the better. As the youngest I was an easy target but I mostly didn’t mind. It was a small price to pay for sitting in a field surrounded by an endless supply of sweet, ruby red, locally grown strawberries. If you’ve had one you know what I am talking about. The year round imposters posing as strawberries in the produce section are just that. Impersonators of the real deal.

Seasonal, local strawberries are one of my favorite foods so I love this time of year. I’ve incorporated them in a main dish salad with quinoa and baby salad greens. I used red quinoa for its vibrant color and beautiful background for the greens and strawberries, but white quinoa can be used too. I love the substance quinoa gives to the salad, literally filling you up and giving you the benefits of protein. It’s nutty, earthy flavor is the perfect compliment to sweet strawberries.

Crispy caramelized almonds, a minty Balsamic vinaigrette and goat cheese crumbles round out the ingredients and they can all be prepped ahead of time. As always, your favorite bottled vinaigrette can be substituted in the interest of saving time but I think homemade is worth the extra effort.

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Uncooked Red Quinoa

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Cooked Red Quinoa

Strawberry Quinoa Green Salad
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup quinoa (red or white quinoa)
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 cups baby salad greens (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 cups halved strawberries
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese (1 cup)
  • Balsamic Mint Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In a fine mesh strainer rinse quinoa; drain and transfer to a saucepan. Add 1-1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer just until soft and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread quinoa on a tray and cool to room temperature (quinoa can be prepared to this point and refrigerated several days).
  2. Stir together almonds and sugar in a medium size skillet. Over medium heat, cook and stir until sugar melts and almonds are golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper or a pan sprayed with vegetable spray, spreading out in a single layer; allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together salad greens, quinoa and the vinaigrette. Add almonds, strawberries and goat cheese and toss gently.
Notes
For the Balsamic Mint Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper


Whisk together vinegar, mint, honey, Dijon and lemon zest. Whisk in olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Makes ⅔ cup.

 


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15 thoughts on “Strawberry Quinoa Green Salad”

  • Linda, not only do I love the recipes but love
    hearing stories about your mom and siblings growing up. Keep up the great work and good food!

    • I love hearing from you, Cathy! Yes, we have quite a few stories from growing up – and many in regard to food. Thanks for commenting.

      • Guilty as charged, but you’re right it was a lot of fun … and the salad sounds great! We have strawberries in the garden now so I’m going to try it out.

  • Dang – kinda opened up a bit of a hornet nest on this one – 🙂 Oddly – I felt like I was right there with you as the story was perfectly descriptive – so much so, I kept thinking of all the strawberries that were being wasted!!! Am going to serve on Sunday for Father’s Day – YUM

    • Don’t worry the berries were wasted – they probably only threw the really rotten ones for maximum splattering effect. I’ll be curious to know how you tweak my recipe! 🙂

  • This recipe looks great Linda. I have been trying to find more ways to incorporate quinoa into our diet and this, with the gracious invitation of my neighbor to pick strawberries in her back yard, should do the trick! I especially appreciate recipes that put it all in one diswh–salad, main course, etc.

  • Love love love this recipe ! Ever since I discovered your blog via The Crimson Spoon , you are my favorite go to blog for a special recipe . Tried the Pomi tomatoes per your recommendstion and we are enjoying them . Thank you for your delicious recipes and informative blog . Your personal touches / stories are great !!!

    • Karen – thank you for your comment – it made my day! I love that you found A Year At The Table via The Crimson Spoon cookbook. I hope you are enjoying it. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Linda — This salad is beyond delicious! All my favorites, plus so beautiful, healthy, simple…a clean winner in all categories. I tossed in some cut up grilled chicken, which made the perfect summer dinner. I will make this all summer long. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Mary. I love it too and will continue to make it all summer – substituting blueberries and raspberries for the strawberries as their season come on. I love the chicken too!

  • And I know just which brother would become “inevitably bored” :-).
    Lovely recipe!

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