Quinoa is an ancient grain from the Andean region of South American, including Peru. While my husband and I were in Peru last month we actually didn’t eat any quinoa – our guide for the Choquequirao trek said that most of the quinoa is exported out of the country and what remains is expensive. While at home in Colorado we eat a lot of quinoa, mainly in salads because it’s not so great on its own. This is a quick and easy salad, perfect for those warm nights.
time: roughly 40 minutes
1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per package directions
cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces
green onion, sliced thinly
cucumber, peeled and sliced in bite-size pieces
kalamata olives, sliced in half
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1) Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions – remove from heat and let cool.
2) After washing the vegetables cut them and set aside on the cutting board. Slice the kalamata olives in half.
3) In a serving bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and salt. Stir, and add additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper or salt if needed.
4) Toast the pine nuts to a golden brown.
5) Add the quinoa and vegetables to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture and stir well to combine.
6) Top with the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese (if you won’t be eating all of the quinoa salad just add the pine nuts and feta cheese to each plate).