Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion
5-10 green beans, halved
1 lemon
1 lime
1/4 cup mozzarella, diced
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
3-4 leaves basil, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon oregano
1 sprig of thyme
2-4 leaves green lettuce

Directions

1. Simmer quinoa and chicken stock for 15 minutes.  
2. Chop vegetables, and toss them with salt and pepper.
3. In a separate bowl, juice lemon and lime, as well as adding dijon mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.  Whisk until blended.
4. Chop fresh herbs, or add dry herbs to vinaigrette.  
5. Combine vinaigrette mozzarella and cooked quinoa.
6. Plate on top of green leaf lettuce.

Recipe courtesy of chef Dave Gauvin, Gloucester, MA 01915.

Quinoa was first successfully domesticated over 3,000 years ago, thus earning the nickname the "ancient grain." Although it is commonly referred to as a grain it is the seed that is actually edible. The Quinoa seed is packed with nutrients and fiber, which is why even the Incas considered this crop to be sacred.

These days, quinoa can go with just about everything due to the similarity in preparation to its relative, rice.  However unlike rice, quinoa boasts a faster cooking time clocking in at only 15 minutes compared to rice's 30 minutes.

This recipe provided by chef David Gauvin is especially helpful thanks to the unlimited combination of ingredients. From garden fresh vegetables to vegetables that only have a few days left in them, there is no wrong choice. This is in thanks to the salad dressing. The salad dressing, made out of lemons and limes, olive oil, and dijon mustard, is truly the cornerstone of the recipe.

Once you have precooked the quinoa, the whole dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare, clearly establishing this dish as the perfect solution for when if you are scrambling to solve the "What's for dinner?" problem.

[PLAYING MUSIC]

So I have a great summer quinoa salad. And we're going to use this whole grain, quinoa. The best part about this grain is it cooks so fast. 15 minutes or less and we have a great cooked grain packed with fiber and nutrients.

And so to get this started really, really quick, I'm going to put the quinoa right in a small saucepan. Very similar to cooking rice, we take about double the amount of-- in this case, I'm going to use chicken stock. That goes right in there.

Now, I'll season it with just a little touch of salt, a little bit of pepper. About 15 minutes or less of simmering. You'll know. We'll start to see the little germs start to break open.

I'm just going to go ahead and start cutting my vegetables. I'm just going to quarter them, take out the core. How about some red bell pepper?

The vegetables in this dish in particular, don't have to be-- it could be whatever is in your garden or whatever is at the farmers' market on that particular day, bell peppers like I'm using, cucumbers, radishes. Really, anything is going to go with this dish.

I like to use a little bit of red onion. Use very, very clean slices. I also like some fresh green beans. Again, whatever you have on hand that's fresh and ready to go, a little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper. I'll start tossing that.

So now, I'm going to build a vinaigrette for this dish, a very, very simple citrus vinaigrette. I'm just going to start with squeezing some lemons into the bowl, lime juice. A little Dijon mustard helps the vinaigrette come together. A little bit of sugar for sweetness to balance out the acidity.

Salt, pepper as always. That goes right in there. I'm going to give a little whisk. And then we start drizzling in some extra virgin olive oil. And do this very, very slowly so it all comes together. I think basil would be a nice addition to this, a little bit of rosemary, this is some oregano, and maybe just one or so sprig of thyme.

There's nothing like the smell of fresh, chopped herbs. That goes right in there. A quick little mix.

So my last ingredient to go in the bowl is some of this mozzarella and cilantro. This mozzarella is a little bit more aged, a little bit less moisture in it. So it's a little firmer and it can really hold up to these ingredients.

And you can tell again when you start to see these little stems, these shoots come out of the quinoa, you can tell it's done. So the quinoa is going to go right in here. All right, just toss that in.

The vinaigrette that we just made, the citrus vinaigrette with fresh herbs, tossed together. Oh, this is looking yummy.

I just have a nice plate here lined green leaf lettuce. Do this also carefully. Just let it come of the bowl onto the plate. It's all about summer time. Just lots of fresh vegetables from the garden. It's beautiful

All right, time to taste. The proof is in the pudding, right? Hm. You can taste all the different components, the tomatoes, the cheese, the onions, the citrus vinaigrette.

It is just so perfect, well balanced. So I hope you try this dish. I hope you bring it home. And really have fun with it.

Quinoa Salad
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