Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Mango
With all the warm weather we’ve been having this week, I’m craving grilled food and cool salads. How about you?
This hearty quinoa salad was this week’s improvisation, and it was such a hit that I had to write it down and share it with you. Quinoa, as you probably know, is a popular alternative to couscous or rice, high in protein, magnesium, and iron, and while it is served as a grain, it is technically a pseudocereal. When cooked, it has a pleasantly crunchy texture and a nutty and mildly bitter flavor. To me, the bitterness needs to be balanced with sweet, salty, and/or buttery ingredients. Then quinoa really shines.
Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Mango, and Feta
Total time: 35 minutes; hands-on time: 35 minutes
Ingredients for the salad:
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small mango (or 1/2 large mango), peeled and diced
- 1 small avocado, peeled and diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Method for the salad:
Put quinoa, water, and 3/4 teaspoons salt into a saucepan and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the shallot and stir. Let sit 10 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil.
When the quinoa has absorbed all the water, uncover the pot and continue stirring the grains over the heat until they are dry and fluffy. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss to cool and fluff the quinoa. Add the mango, avocado, and scallions and toss together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve. Yield: 8 servings
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