The Strawberry Quinoa Salad That Converted a Salad Hater

May 15, 2018

Around these parts (meaning the Food52 office), when a recipe is successful, you'll know it right away.

"Omg, what was that?"

"Is the recipe up yet?"

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"Is there anymore left for me to try?"

Immediate tasting notes are just one of the perks of working at a company with a test kitchen. As you might expect, many delights pass through our headquarters (most of them having us clamoring for more!), and our staffers seem to have honed their palates as a result. Once I started getting instant feedback on this Strawberry and Quinoa Salad from Bernadette Wörndl's gorgeous new book, Fruit: Recipes that Celebrate Nature, I knew I had come across another winner.

Oh, you delightful salad, you! Photo by Julia Gartland

"I was told to ask you about that delicious strawberry quinoa recipe... Is this something you would know?" It was a Slack from Nina Amjadi, our intrepid email marketing manager. After I shared the recipe—she didn't want to wait until this article would be published—I received a dutiful follow-up just a few short days later.

"I made the salad this weekend," she said. It's my favorite salad." This wouldn't normally be a big deal, but what you must know about Nina is that she is a salad HATER. I've never seen this girl without a warm plate for lunch; her notion of an ideal meal is a rice dish or bowl with some type of protein. A cool and crunchy salad, while the norm for many of our office mates, just doesn't do it for her.


"It was so refreshing and I was a little skeptical about the orange juice dressing, but it paired so well with the strawberries," she continued without any prompting. "I even sent a pic to my friends and they were all so jealous 😂." If flaunting your food creation isn't the ultimate form of flattery in this digital age (especially by the girl who takes zero food photos to begin with), I'm not sure what is. "I seriously don't even like salad!" she insisted. "I never did."

I'm not surprised this salad resonated with Nina, who's used to heartier, savory fare for lunch. Still-warm quinoa joins arugula and herbs like mint and tarragon in a bright citrus vinaigrette, before getting friendly with tangy goat's cheese and topped with a just-poached egg. It's flavorful, fresh, and filling—all the hallmarks of a good lunch whether you lean cool or warm, the perfect punctuation mark to your work-filled day.

Are you a fan of strawberries in your salad? Let us know your favorite recipe below!

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Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.

1 Comment

Nina A. May 15, 2018
The most delicious salad!!! Try it!