Golden Quinoa Salad with Radish, Dill & Avocado
The secret ingredient, besides well-cooked quinoa, is smoke. Just a hint of smokiness in the dressing pulls everything together and makes it sing. Smoked olive oil, which if you have works very well, but it's expensive, so try this with a dash of natural liquid smoke, and it had the same effect. Try it — the salad won't taste smoky, just a little deeper and fuller.
- 1 cup golden quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 8 small red radishes, well-cleaned and tops removed
- 1/3 seedless English cucumber, about 1/4 pound, unpeeled
- 1 large shallot
- 2/3 lightly filled cup dill fronds, without stems
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke*
- 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for a vegan adaptation)
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ripe avocado, to serve
Adapted from thekitchn.com
Rinse the quinoa for 2 to 3 minutes in a fine mesh strainer, rubbing vigorously. Drain. Heat a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spread the cooked quinoa over it in an even layer. Let cool while preparing the vegetables.
Dice the radishes finely — about 1/4-inch to a side. Do the same with the cucumber. Finely dice the shallot. Finely chop the dill fronds. Toss with the quinoa in a large bowl.
Zest the lemon right into the bowl and fold in the zest. Juice the lemon half and whisk the juice together with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and liquid smoke until emulsified and thick. Toss this with the quinoa.
Fold in the almonds, chopped dates, and Parmesan. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top with chopped avocado.
*Note: 1 tablespoon smoked olive oil, such as The Smoked Olive's Sonoma oil, can be substituted for the liquid smoke and 1 tablespoon regular olive oil.
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