We could make a meal of this deliciously unexpected combination, but it's excellent alongside a grilled steak too. Sautéing the quinoa in oil before simmering helps it come out fluffy every time.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small dried red chile, broken in half
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1 qt. loosely packed watercress (about 1 1/2 bunches, trimmed to about 5 in. long)
1 1/2 cups quartered or halved strawberries
1 large Persian cucumber or 1/4 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
1 small spring onion bulb or 2 green onions, cut into 2-in. slivers
1/4 pound ricotta salata or feta cheese, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped strawberries
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
About 1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
How to Make It
Make salad: Heat oil with chile and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add quinoa and toast, stirring often, until it starts to turn golden in spots, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup water, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes, then pour quinoa onto a plate and let cool. Discard chile.
Meanwhile, put remaining salad ingredients except for cheese in a wide bowl and set aside.
Make dressing: In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. water with all dressing ingredients except oils. Set aside 10 minutes; whisk in oils.
Gently toss quinoa with 2 tbsp. dressing. Spoon onto 4 dinner plates. Mound salad mixture on top and tuck in cheese. Season generously with more pepper and serve with remaining dressing to add to salads.
Usually spectacle when it comes to berries in a salad, I helped myself to this recipe found in a magazine while at the doctor office.I prepared this for a brunch group of 8 so we placed salad under the quinoa. I used crumbled feta since safeway didn't have ricotta salata.the dressing is really good but double it. There wasn't enough...maybe because I couldn't stop tasting it!I will be making this again!
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