This savory and sweet salad is perfect as a main dish or served with greens and fruit or vegetables. I served it with a mix of greens and some fresh mango that I’d just gotten from the local farmer’s market. There’s a variety of fresh vegetables you could use in this salad besides carrot, cucumber, and onion. I would just use the freshest vegetables you have from the farmer’s market. If you use tomatoes, they should be deseeded, just as the cucumber was. And I would stick with cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, if you decide on using them. The dressing is really what makes this salad super delicious, and tweaking that to suit your own tastebuds is what’s important.
2 cups cooled and cooked quinoa
3 grated carrots
4 large pickling cucumbers (my favorite, but you could use English), peeled and deseeded
6 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarse-grind pepper
4 limes, squeezed
3 tsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or more, to taste)
Mix the quinoa with all the ingredients up to an including the salt and pepper. If you want to add other fresh, crunchy chopped vegetables, I would choose bell peppers, corn, fresh peas, or snap peas. It’s a matter of choice, but the ones I listed are the ones I used. For the dressing, mix the squeezed lime juice (should yield about 1/4 cup), and add the remaining ingredients. Taste it to see if you need to add more acid (rice vinegar or lime), or more sesame oil. If you want it more sweet and sour, adjust the tamari or soy sauce to suit your taste. I absolutely loved the dressing by the time I was done tweaking it to my taste. Add it to your quinoa mixture, a little at a time as you mix. You may not want to use it all, and instead serve some on the side to pour over the quinoa salad and whatever else you are serving it with. I garnished it with a little mint from my garden.