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January 29, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Feta Cheese, and Olives

I made this quick and easy Quinoa Salad for dinner last night, and it turned out very delicious! I don't think I've ever had quinoa before or cooked with it, so it was a bit of an experiment. I modified the recipe quite a bit, as I always seem to do, so the recipe below is my altered version, with the link being the actual recipe I semi-followed. You can kind of treat this salad like a Greek salad as well, and add any other ingredients you might put in a Greek salad, such as cucumbers, kalamata olives, or even some red onion might be good.

Here's the recipe adapted from Bobby Flay:

1/4 red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 cups salted water
2 cups quinoa
1/2 bunch of asparagus, trimmed, and cut into inch long pieces
1 cup green olives, diced
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1. For the vinaigrette: Combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, mustard and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together while slowly drizzling in olive oil. Once it's all incorporated, whisk until the vinaigrette has thickened.

2. Heat 4 cups of salted water in a large pot over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until almost cooked through and water is almost all gone. (Alternatively you can follow the directions on the box, and quinoa can be cooked like rice in a rice cooker.)

3. Add asparagus to quinoa. Finish cooking, about 5 more minutes. Stir, turn off heat and set aside. (If you notice the quinoa is cooked through, but all the water isn't gone, you can do what I did and just drain in a sieve and return to pot to cool down.)

4. Add olives, feta cheese, and red bell pepper into a large serving bowl. Once quinoa has cooled down a little, dump it into the large serving bowl with olives, cheese and pepper. Stir together, and drizzle vinaigrette over the quinoa salad. Stir to combine, then serve.

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