Quinoa is a super food all year round, but it shines especially in summer salads. Take an average spinach and mushroom salad and make it more nutritious and more substantial by adding quinoa to it. And by adding omega-3-rich walnuts, this salad goes from healthy to heart healthy!
Quinoa, Spinach and Mushroom Salad
Recipe by Martha Rose Schulman, author of “The Very Best Recipes for Health”
3/4 cup quinoa
1¼ cups water
Salt to taste
1 bag baby spinach, rinsed and dried, or 1/2 bunch spinach, stemmed, washed and dried
6 white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup, optional)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, puréed
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
Freshly ground pepper
1. Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse several times with cold water. Place in a medium saucepan with 1¼ cups water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes, until the grains display a threadlike spiral and the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, remove the lid and place a dishtowel over the pan, then return the lid to the pan and let sit for 10 minutes or longer undisturbed. Transfer to a salad bowl and fluff with forks. Allow to cool.
2. Add the spinach, mushrooms, walnuts, parsley and optional cheese to the bowl.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad just before serving.
Yields: 6 servings
Advance Preparation: You can assemble the salad up to a day ahead, but don’t toss with the dressing until shortly before serving.
1. I could not find sherry vinegar in the grocery store, so I used champagne vinegar that I already had at home.
2. I used 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Meyer lemon olive oil in the salad dressing.
3. For added flavor, I simmered the quinoa in chicken broth instead of water. Because the broth contains salt, I added no additional salt to the cooking water.
4. Strict vegetarians can choose to omit the feta cheese.