Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.
Today: A game-changing trick for quinoa salad.
Take it from a cook who’s made her fair share of grain salads: this one’s a little bit different, maybe a bit more special, than the others. My secret? I pumped up the ratio of herbs to quinoa here -- it truly is a parsley salad with quinoa and not the other way around. Also, I amplified the nutty flavors inherent in the grain by pairing it with my favorite nutty cheese, Comte, and a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds. My friend’s husband, while speaking of such things as fantasy football, looked up from a bowl of this salad to tell me how good it was -- and I felt like I had accomplished something.
(Note that this recipe calls for soaking the quinoa -- that is so that its cooking time is super quick. I do realize it’s a bit of a cheat for a true 20-minute meal, but I honestly felt that tossing quinoa and water together before I began my day was so negligible that it rounded down to zero effort.)
1 cup quinoa (I used “rainbow”)
2 cups chopped parsley (leaves and stems from 2 bunches)
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups grated Comte or sharp cheddar cheese
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way.
Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.
Photo by Caroline Wright