I’ve made the Black Bean & Quinoa salad a couple times now since we liked it so much. It packs well in lunches, tastes good cold or warm, and was pretty easy to make. When planning the menu for today’s lunch however, I wanted to try something new since we had a guinea pig, I mean guest, coming over so I decided to play around with a Giada de Laurentiis recipe for Herbed Quinoa. After reading the reviews, I made some alterations to the recipe and came up with something everyone at the table agreed was a perfect summer luncheon dish (and would be ideal for a picnic or packed lunch). By swapping the chicken stock for vegetable, it’s a vegan or vegetarian dish. Here’s my version:
- 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¾ – 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- zest from one lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the quinoa: Put all quinoa ingredients in your rice cooker and cook as you would white rice. When the rice cooker switches off or to the warming function, dump the quinoa into a large bowl and fluff with a fork (as you would couscous).
For the dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Note: I made this dish the night before and kept it covered in the refrigerator. I tasted it right after mixing everything together and it was good, but the garlic (I was a bit generous in the serving since we love garlic) overwhelmed the herbs and lemon. By lunchtime the next day though, the garlic had mellowed and the herbs and lemon played stronger roles. It was delicious! We served it with Zucchini and Tomatoes (recipe will be posted later this week), green salads, grilled rosemary chicken, and white sangria (recipe will be posted later this week). We ate so much, we didn’t leave any room for the planned dessert (angel food cake with homemade berry sauce). I’m definitely looking forward to our dinner tonight of leftovers and the dessert!