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Kara’s Quinoa Salad

July 3, 2009

Kara's quinoa salad

In case you didn’t know, I love quinoa. Especially quinoa salad. My mission in life is to spread the joys of quinoa salad throughout the land.

Because she is a smart lady with refined tastes, my friend Kara loves quinoa too. The other day, I saw that she had updated her Facebook status with a description of a quinoa salad she had made that included lentils, sauteed cabbage, and a creamy herb dressing. I thought that sounded spectacular, so I decided to create my own version and share it with you.

The flavors and textures in this salad are simple, pleasing, and bright. It would make a good addition to a picnic spread or a buffet, but works perfectly as a one-dish lunch or dinner, too. Thanks for the inspiration, Kara!

Kara’s Quinoa Salad

For the salad:
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups cooked French lentils
3/4 cups almonds or hazelnuts
1 lb. cabbage, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the dressing:
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh herbs (I used parsley and dill), minced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Spread almonds or hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet and roast until brown and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. When cool, chop roughly.

2. Heat the olive oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and a pinch of salt to the pan. Toss to coat with the oil. Saute until the cabbage is just softened and some of the pieces are browned.

3. In a small bowl or in your blender, combine lemon juice, yogurt, olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper. Whisk or blend together.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine quinoa, lentils, chopped nuts, and sauteed cabbage. Mix in dressing and toss well to combine. Let sit for half an hour to allow the flavors to marry. Or eat it right away.

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