The first time I had quinoa lentil salad, it was at a relaxing lunch with Mark at Rhubarb, a restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. The chef served over wilted spinach, and earthy goodness had me immediately hooked. My version is subtly dressed, allowing it to top various greens or serve as a simple side.
You might think it strange that the lentils are a vibrant orange before cooking and then appear yellow in the finished dish. But, they really do go through that transformation. Green lentils, on the other hand, retain their color, although moving towards a softer shade. I always like to pair the green lentils with white quinoa because of the visual appeal.
Quinoa Lentil Salad Recipe
- Servings: 4
- Calories per: 238
- Active Time: 5 min
- Total Time: 25 min
- Difficulty: Easy
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||In a covered 3-quart tri-ply saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat (~5 minutes). Meanwhile, in a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa and lentils until water runs clear; shake to drain off excess water. Add to boiling water, along with the salt. When water returns to a boil, promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer until the quinoa’s soft blond interiors pop (~15 minutes). Drain thoroughly through the mesh strainer, giving vigorous shakes. Return to the pan. Add all the remaining ingredients; toss lightly with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill ~4 hours before serving.||Unrinsed quinoa is coated with saponins, which tastes soapy or bitter to some people. Red and black quinoa pair attractively with orange lentils and require equal cooking times. Adding salt after water is hot reduces metal pitting. Plain white vinegar or apple cider vinegar is overpowering. Extra-virgin olive oil adds a fresh layer of flavor.|
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.