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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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Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1/2  cup  red or other quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve, drained
  • teaspoons  kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • pound  assorted summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash)
  • tablespoons  finely grated Parmesan plus 1/4 cup shaved with a peeler
  • teaspoon  finely grated lemon zest
  • tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon  Sherry vinegar
  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste 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.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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