Quinoa and Green Bean Summer Salad

June 30, 2010

Aunt Suzy says

This was the first weekend for local green beans and the ones from Untiedt’s are really good.   I got the green beans along with the cherry tomatoes for this recipe from them at the downtown farmers market, but I am also lucky to have one of their neighborhood fruit and vegetable stands within walking distance.   I always anticipate the first local green beans, specifically so I can make this recipe!  It has many layers of flavor that surprise in every bite, even though the ingredient list is short.  This can be served as a main dish salad (quinoa is high in protein) or as a side to roast or grilled chicken.  A dry, fruity French rose wine is the perfect pairing.

A note about the ingredients:  The original recipe called for bulgur instead of quinoa.  I have made and like both, but prefer the quinoa for its milder flavor and texture.  I have almost completely switched from using golden quinoa to red quinoa.  I’m not sure if there is a flavor difference, but I like how it looks!  I have also made this recipe with asparagus and it was just as good as with the green beans.  For a prettier salad, you can use multi-colored cherry and grape tomatoes.  For the roasted almonds make sure that you get roasted and salted (unless you have to limit your salt intake).  Trader Joe’s has a product called Tangy and Spicy Dry Roasted Almonds, which have cayenne pepper and lemon added.  If you want to add a little zip to the dish, use these! (July 2013 update:  TJ no longer carries those almonds – sigh.)

1 cup red or golden quinoa, rinsed well

1 1/2 cups water

1 pound thin green beans, trimmed and snapped in half

1/3 cup EV olive oil

juice of 1/2 to one lemon, depending on how juicy

salt and pepper to taste

1 pint cherry tomatoes (2 cups), sliced in half

1/2 cup roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely shredded

Place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan and add the water.  Make sure you rinse or else the quinoa will be bitter when cooked.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff and turn into a large bowl to cool.

Wash the green beans.  Place in a steamer, bring the water to a boil and steam for 5 minutes or until just done.  Alternatively, you can cook the beans directly in boiling water for 5 minutes until just done.  Either way, when done, plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain and then pat dry in a towel.  When both the beans and the quinoa are mostly cool, combine in the large bowl.

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper together.  Pour over the quinoa/green bean mixture.  You can make this up to a day ahead.  Prior to serving add the tomatoes, mint and almonds.  Toss to combine thoroughly.  Use some small mint leaves for garnish.  Serve at room temperature.

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One Response to “Quinoa and Green Bean Summer Salad”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mpls Farmers Market. Mpls Farmers Market said: Aunt Suzy suggests Quinoa & Green Bean Summer Salad: http://bit.ly/dCZYoT […]


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