Summer (or anytime) quinoa salad

Photo of quinoa salad from original Cooking Light recipe.

Photo of quinoa salad from original Cooking Light recipe.

Getting together with friends and family is a good excuse to eat well. Here’s a simple salad recipe that can survive post-meal lack of attention on the dining table or picnic buffet.

The original recipe is fairly different, which just shows that this salad is highly modifiable and you don’t need to worry about exact measurements. Adjust everything to your tastes.
Dressing:
— juice of two large lemons (about 1/2 cup) mixed with about half as much extra virgin olive oil
— fresh ground salt and pepper
— 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Other salad ingredients:
— one clamshell package of mint leaves, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
— large handful of dried sulphured apricots, cut in small pieces
— one bunch of green onions sliced in small pieces (five or six thin green onions)
— two small/one large jalapeño pepper(s) finely chopped (seeds and membranes removed; wear gloves while handling)
(pour dressing over these ingredients and set aside while finishing the steps that follow)
— 2 cups uncooked quinoa, cooked according to directions on package (mix red and white quinoa for more color); let cool and then fluff with a fork
— 3/4 cup slivered almonds toasted deeply, then cooled (toasting in a cast iron skillet works well if you have one)
— spring salad mix torn into bite size pieces (don’t use a mix with radicchio–too bitter)
Toss all ingredients together, adding lettuce and almonds just before serving. Makes 10-12 generous servings as a side dish and is good on day two. Simply halve all ingredients for a smaller salad.

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