It includes radishes, which I can't say I love alone, but in this- it's perfection. But also, I think radishes may be some of the most beautiful things on this planet.
I love them visually so much, that before I did anything with them, I took them out of the fridge, took them to Kjirk and asked just for a moment of admiration for these little beauties. And he did. I love him so.
As you can see by these ingredients, it really is made with the freshest of fresh. Radishes, carrots, green beans, red onion, romaine lettuce...
To begin, make your quinoa as usual. I used one cup of dry quinoa with two cups water. You'll also want to strain your beans. I found this organic tri-blend mix at Fred Meyer. It was perfect. Your really do want the mix. Strain your beans and set aside. I used two cans. Chop up 2 heads of Romaine lettuce.
Prepare the rest of your vegetables. Slice the radishes very thin, as well as the carrots and the red onion. These could also be cut into match-stick like pieces.
You'll want to blanch your green beans. I used the same pot after the quinoa to help reduce dirty dishes. To blanch, boil some water, add your green beans that are already snapped and prepared. Let sit in the boiling water just until they turn bright green (about a minute). Transfer to icy cold water, or in a strainer under cold running water.
Put your prepared quinoa, lettuce and green beans together. I did this and sat in the refrigerator while I prepared the other veggies. While this salad is served warm, I suggest cooling down the quinoa a bit so it's not hot.
For the dressing, it couldn't be more simple. The juice and zest of one large, fresh lemon with about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and about a teaspoon of salt. Be careful with the salt. This salad could easily become a savory dish, which it is not. Don't let the salt overpower it. Whisk together.
Now that everything is about room temperature add everything together and give it a good stir. I saved some radishes, carrots and onions almost as a garnish. The colors are beautiful together.
Enjoy! This salad actually gets better the more it sits and absorbs that amazing flavor! This is a wonderful main dish (vegan!) or as a tasty side. I guarantee you'll love it.
Garden Fresh Quinoa Salad
4 fresh radishes
1 large carrot
1/3 large red onion
Green beans (about 3 handfuls)
2 bunches of romaine lettuce
1 Cup dry quinoa
2 cans tri-blend beans
1 large fresh lemon & it's zest
juice of 1/2 orange (optional)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Begin by preparing your quinoa as normal. While that is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Slice the radishes, carrots, and onion very thin. Or in match-stick like pieces. Whatever is easiest for you, but keep note the smaller is better. Prepare the green beans and then blanch (for directions on blanching, see above). Chop up the lettuce into bite size pieces. Once the quinoa is done and your veggies are prepared, place all together in a large bowl and place in the refrigerator. This salad is served warm/room temperature, but the quinoa is very hot. I've found that this balances it out so it does not take so long to cool. Leave out a few of the thinly sliced veggies to add to the top of the served salad (simply for the sake of prettiness). Prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, the lemon juice and zest and the salt (*see note above about salting*). This would be delicious with a bit of fresh orange juice, as well, but I didn't have any. After whisked together, pour over the salad and mix thoroughly. Again, this should be served slightly warm or at room temperature. It just gets better the longer it sits absorbing the flavors.
Serves about 6