Quinoa, a grain originally from Peru, is an amazingly healthy super food; and at this time of year—with corn, tomatoes and cucumbers in abundance and at their peak—this harvest salad is my favorite way to consume it. If you can’t find them, the peppadew peppers are essential—you can even substitute a finely minced red bell pepper--- but they do add a certain something and extra boost of flavor. The salad keeps for several days in the fridge—though tastes best at room temperature--- so make extra and enjoy all week.
COOK THE QUINOA: Toast the quinoa over medium heat in a medium saucepan for five minutes, stirring. This is step is optional but does bring out the nutty flavor of the grain. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer.
Cook until the grains have become translucent and begun to split apart, about 10 minutes. Cool completely and set aside.
In a large salad bowl mix the lemon juice and zest and olive oil with all the ingredients except the quinoa and the cheese.
Toss in the cooled quinoa and then the cheese.
Taste and adjust seasonings….you may need pepper, salt, oil, and/or lemon juice.
This salad keeps for several days covered and refrigerated and is best if let to sit at least an hour before serving.