Quinoa Salad That's Perfect for a Picnic

I can not take credit for this beautiful salad. I can only say that when trying to accomodate a gluten, dairy and egg allergy in an attempt at a perfect picnic some internet research may be required. In order to fill that order I turned to the Gluten Free Goddess.

Her Kalamata Olive Quinoa Salad was a perfect choice for this particular occasion.

"Amounts are approximations, a template to guide you.

Salad making is more of an art than science."

Ingredients :

  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • A handful of sweet grape tomatoes- I went with yellow (lower acidity)
  • 1 carrot, grated (fun!!)
  • 4 scallions, sliced (white and light green sections)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, whole or pitted and chopped (he LOVES these olives)
  • 1/3 cup slivered nuts- pecans, almonds or walnuts (i went with walnuts)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves - (fresh is key)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons or limes, depending upon size (I went with lime - big hit)

Prep :

    •  Rub the clove of raw garlic inside a glass or ceramic salad bowl.
    • While the cooked quinoa is still a bit warm (but not steaming hot) scoop it into a bowl and fluff with a fork.
    • Quarter the yellow tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
    • Add in the grated carrot, sliced scallions, Kalamata olives, and slivered nuts.
  • Toss lightly to combine.
  • Season with sea salt and ground pepper.
  • Add the chopped fresh herbs.
  • Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil- enough to moisten. Toss to distribute.
  • Squeeze a lemon or a lime all over the salad and toss.
Taste test (this is the fun part).
Adjust the seasonings.
Does it need more olive oil? Salt?
More citrus?
When the seasoning tastes right, cover and chill until serving (at least one hour, but a few is even better). Before serving, taste again and readjust seasonings if needed. Makes roughly 4 to 6 servings.
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