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Spring Quinoa Squash and Parmesan Salad

This is the perfect, easy salad to introduce your family to Quinoa. Crunch, fresh squash drizzled with a citrus dressing and tossed with salty parmesan cheese. Great as a side dish and fabulous for lunch the next day.

Spring Quinoa Squash and Parmesan Salad

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Serves: 6 Total Time: 45 minutes

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 (zucchini, yellow 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 (you can also substitute almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Instructions

1

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa. Season with salt, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until quinoa is tender but not mushy, about 12-15 minutes. Drain the quinoa and return it the saucepan. Cover and let quinoa sit for 15 minutes. Uncover; fluff with a fork and let cool.

2

Cut squash into 1/8"-thick slices, some lengthwise and some crosswise. If you have a mandolin, this is the perfect time to dust it off. The thinner you can slice the squash, the better. Transfer the squash to a large bowl, season with 2 teaspoons salt, and toss to coat. Let sit until slightly wilted (a fancy way of saying the squash will soften a bit), about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. This step is important, otherwise your squash will be too salty. Pat dry with paper towels.

3

Whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

4

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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