A month or so ago I bought a box of quinoa. I’ve been dying to make something with it since I tried a cucumber salad containing quinoa at a barbecue last year. The salad I had tried was a little lacking in flavor as the ingredients were basically cucumber, cilantro and quinoa, so I’ve been looking for something tastier ever since.
Enter the monthly event I host called The Secret Recipe Club. In this club food bloggers get together, their blog names are thrown into a virtual hat, then the names are distributed amongst the members randomly, like a Secret Santa. No one knows who has their blog until the reveal date, and this month my blog assignment was Tessa’s, The Cooking Chemist. Tessa is a pharmacist by trade, so her blog name makes total sense!
I had a lot of fun looking through Tessa’s blog, and actually still have some recipes bookmarked. When I saw her Summer Garden Couscous Salad I knew I could easily substitute quinoa and play around with some of the other ingredients as well.
For my salad, I substituted some smoked gouda cheese for the feta, and made my own dressing using some rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. I also used grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. I like their petite size better. The results are a highly colorful salad with a mild dressing that is perfect for all tastes. Thanks for the recipe inspiration Tessa!
Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad
adapted from Summer Garden Couscous Salad
1 15-oz can chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, cooked and cooled
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced smoked gouda cheese
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, packed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, about 4 turns
Combine chicken broth and quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover simmered for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Place in refrigerator while you make the rest of the salad.
In a large bowl, combine the corn, cucumber, tomatoes, gouda cheese, red onion, and fresh parsley.
Toss gently to combine.
Add quinoa and toss again.
In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, both vinegars and mayonnaise. Add salt to taste and pepper. Whisk to combine.
Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Test it for flavor, add more dressing if desired. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.