Summer Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Walnuts

Summer Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Walnuts

As much as I love to cook, I really love it when I just get to pull myself up to the table and revel in someone else’s creation.  Brett and Frank had us over for dinner last weekend to help break in the new counter top rotisserie, which was filled with skewered shrimp, scallops and vegetables.  They also plucked this ultra-fresh, salad of summery, crunchy, nutty goodness out of the latest issue of Bon Appetit.  We liked it so much we had to make it at home.  It works really well as a side dish, but our inability to stop after a small portion makes it an entrée here.

Tonight was one of the rare occasions when there wasn’t any parmesan in the house so we used pecorino instead and it worked very well.    The best news is that there’s enough for lunch tomorrow!  Welcome to regular rotation!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup red or other quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound assorted summer squash
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan plus 1/4 cup shaved with a peeler
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

PREPARATION

  • Bring quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Season with salt, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is tender but not mushy, 12–15 minutes. Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Uncover; fluff with a fork and let cool.
  • Cut squash into 1/8″-thick slices, some lengthwise and some crosswise. Transfer to a large bowl, season with 2 tsp. salt, and toss to coat. Let sit until slightly wilted, about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
  • Combine squash, quinoa, parsley, walnuts, and basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.

     

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