Quinoa Lentil Salad

Quinoa Lentil Salad

The first time I had quinoa lentil salad it was at a relaxing lunch with Mark at Rhubarb, in Asheville, North Carolina. It was served over wilted spinach and I was immediately hooked. My version is subtly dressed, allowing it to top various greens or to serve as a simple side.

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Time: 0hr 20-25mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • 1 cup red or black quinoa
  • 1/4 cup orange lentils
In a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa and lentils until water runs clear; set strainer aside to drain excess water. Lentils are a good pairing for quinoa, as they require the same amount of cooking time.
  • 2 cups tap water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan (select one with a glass lid), bring water and salt to the boil over high heat; add quinoa and lentils. Cover and reduce heat to hold at a simmer (195-205°F, where bubbles gently, but continually, break the surface) until the soft blond interiors pop, and water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Tilt the pan at a 45 degree angle to confirm. Let rest 10 minutes before uncovering. A glass lid facilitates monitoring.
  • 1/4 cup white wine, or champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
For the dressing: Add all to a small bowl; whisk vigorously (30-60 second). Drizzle over quinoa and lentils; toss lightly with a fork. Serve chilled. Plain white or apple cider vinegar is too overpowering. Honey not only adds a hint of sweetness, but acts as an emulsifier.

Additional Testing Notes: Red or black quinoa are an attractive contrast to orange lentils. White quinoa may be substituted, but it looks better with green lentils.

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