Quinoa Salad

I spent the summer of 2011 living in Tulsa with my brother Thomas and it was regularly 110-120 degrees, truly unbearable.  We ate a lot of this salad that summer, and even took a huge batch with us to Bonnaroo, the cucumber is so refreshing.  My brothers call this the “keenest wa” when they request it.  It has become one of my year round go-to recipes for lunches, I make a big batch and have it for lunch a few days throughout the week.  I will confess that I don’t measure when I make this meal so the amounts on the ingredients list are estimates and can be tweaked to your own taste.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and sliced
3-4 stalks green onions, minced (both green and white parts)
1/3 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup goat milk feta (optional)

Prepare the quinoa according to directions on the package.  Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper and pour the mixture over the hot quinoa in a large bowl and stir well.  Let the quinoa cool while you chop your veggies.  Split the cucumber down the middle and scoop out the seeds then slice.

Chop the dill and green onions and, once everything is ready, add it all to the quinoa at the same time and add a little more salt and pepper.  Toss well.  Give the salad a taste and feel free to play around with the ingredients, you may like it with more olive oil, more or less dill or green onions.  This salad ends up a little different every time I make it.

If you can eat goat milk and are not trying to prepare a vegan meal, put in some small chunks of feta to taste and stir carefully.  Let the mixture sit for an hour and come to room temperature, or refrigerate overnight.  I personally think this salad is better the next day after the flavors have really blended.  If you do refrigerate, let it come back to room temperature to serve and taste to be sure the seasonings are balanced.

I hope you enjoy the salad as much as Thomas and I do!

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