I feel like you either love or you hate, quinoa. I love it. It’s so versatile in its ability to take on flavors and it is just so good for your body. That said, even I don’t utilize Quinoa in my cooking as often as I should. But if you have never tried Quinoa before I urge you to try this recipe!
Cooking Quinoa is pretty easy. It’s a 2:1 ratio. 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. So if you are trying to cook 1 cup of quinoa, you would need 2 cups of water. For this recipe, I’m cooking 1/2 a cup of Quinoa, so I need 1 cup of water. Bring the water up to a boil before you add the quinoa. It’s important that you add salt to the water, it really enhances the flavor. For this recipe, you need 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt.
Once the water is boiling, go ahead and add the quinoa. Give it a quick stir, and let the water come back to a boil. Once this happens, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with its lid and set a timer for 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking you can put together the rest of the salad. Take 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup of sunflower oil (vegetable or canola is fine here too) with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and whisk it together. Add some parsley and black pepper to the whisked vinaigrette, just a pinch will do.
Take a shallot and thinly slice it – I like a mandolin for this but a knife will work just fine. Add one entire thinly sliced shallot to the vinaigrette. Then you need a cucumber. I like English cucumbers for this one, the seeds are so small you can hardly tell that they are there. Thinly slice half of a cucumber and add it in with the shallots.
You’ll need 1 – 14 ounce can of chickpeas. Drain the liquid and toss them in with everything else. Make sure that you take care to separate any cucumbers that are sticking together. Let everything sit and soak up the vinaigrette while you wait for the quinoa to finish cooking.
The quinoa will be completely finished after 20 minutes. It’s going to be important to cool it down before you add it to the salad. Just spread it out on a plate and let it cool.
Take the cooled quinoa and add it in to everything else. Gently toss to combine. Take a taste and see if it needs any more salt. If it does, add it, if not – enjoy!!