Simple and satisfying. I believe that quinoa just happens to be mother nature’s perfect creation; the Inca had cultivated this seed and referred to it as “chisaya mama” or “the mother of all grains”. Quinoa is a seed but is also a complete protein, hearty with a nutty essence, wholesome but exotic. This salad balances the light texture of the quinoa with the crunch of the snap peas and pop of the pepitas. The pickled carrots are inspired by a lovely family dinner we had in Utah…some how they just kept appearing and reappearing on my plate…and I ate every last one of them. And nothing says earthy goodness like a good goddess dressing. If you want to save on time and rather not make a dressing, Annie’s goddess dressing is delightful with this salad.
quinoa salad with green goddess dressing…
1 ½ cup Inca red quinoa
3 cups water/or broth (if not serving with dressing)
1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly cut on bias
½ cup opal basil (regular basil works just fine)
½ cup green onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup pepitas, toasted
½ cup dried cherries
2 small carrots, cut into matchsticks
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
2 heaping tbs tahini
¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tbs freshly chopped parsley
juice of ½ lemon (plus more for finishing if needed)
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
For pickling liquid, mix together vinegar, salt, and sugar, stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Marinate carrots in pickling liquid for at least ½ hour. For dressing, put all ingredients into blender and keep adding more lemon juice and/or cider vinegar until you create a nice thick liquid. Add salt and pepper last to taste. Prepare quinoa per package directions. Or, if you bought in bulk, the ration is usually 2:1 water/broth to quinoa. Let cool. Rinse and prep vegetables. Mix in peas, basil, green onion, and cherries. Top with toasted pepitas and pickled carrots. Serve with a dollop of dressing.
Eat together, toast to each other, and share!