This is a sort of "gateway" recipe for quinoa - if you don't really think you like it, this may ease you into a new perspective. Packed with super nutrition (dates, celery, parsley, almonds, and yes quinoa). A little sweet. A bit salty. A lot yummy. A great packable lunch or easy to get along with side. Personally, I think a large bowlful is a perfectly fine light supper.
Although this is not season-specific in any way when the first new chive shoots poke their heads up in my garden every spring it is one of the first recipes I think of making.
(adapted from Salads to Go by Jean Pare)
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 tsp grey sea salt
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Combine water, salt and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner, covered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from burner, lift the lid, and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
Heat the 2 tsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook the celery and onion for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are softened. Add to quinoa, stir, and let cool. When cool add the dates, feta, almonds, chives, and parsley.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss until coated.