Quinoa Salad With Cherries and Feta
It’s cherry season! When it’s too hot out for cooking, this light and tasty salad will hit the spot. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, packed with protein and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber.
This hearty, grain-based salad is ideal for lunches, picnics, or as a sweet and salty side for a summer BBQ.
2 cups cherries
2 cups quinoa (Or you can substitute with orzo/ couscous )
3 tablespoons minced shallot
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
Pit the cherries into a small mixing bowl, and let sit while you make the quinoa. (Some of their juices will drain into the bowl.)
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, add the quinoa to a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly under cool water. Add the quinoa to the boiling water, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the quinoa is just barely al dente. Strain it using a fine-mesh strainer.
Add an inch of water to the quinoa pot, set the fine-mesh strainer (with the cooked quinoa still in it) inside the pot; make sure the quinoa doesn’t touch the water. Cover with a dish towel and the pot’s lid, turn the heat up to high, and steam for 3-5 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and no longer waterlogged. Turn the quinoa out into a large mixing bowl, and fluff it up with a fork.
Slice the pitted cherries into thin rounds, and set aside in another small bowl.
Add the minced shallot, red-wine vinegar, olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl that the cherries were pitted into (to make use of the cherry juices). Whisk to combine.
Drizzle the dressing over the warm quinoa; add the parsley, feta, and almonds; and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt.
Serve at room temperature.