A few weeks ago we spent a few days at The Cloisters at Sea Island. At the River Bar and Lounge I had a wonderful salad that was delicious! It was a salad of quinoa and vegetables with a citrus vinaigrette dressing. I had to come home and create my own version.
Although the original version of the salad was most likely blanched, I decided to saute some of my vegetables. I wanted the extra flavor from the caramelization.
To make my knock-off quinia and vegetable salad you will need:
1 cup quinoa, cooked. I used chicken broth for the cooking liquid for the added flavor.
Small shallot, fined sliced
Small bell pepper (any color), diced
1/2 cup broccoli, cut very small
Fennel bulb, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups kale, chopped
1 cup small tomatoes such as cherry or grape, halved
Half carrot, shaved
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed if canned or cooked if dried
2 Tablespoons finely diced small shallot or mild onion
6 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for sautéing
2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste
In non-stick skillet with about a Tablespoon of olive oil sauté the shallot, bell pepper, broccoli, fennel and kale over medium heat in olive oil. Add additional oil as needed. While sautéing the broccoli and kale, I also added a bit of chicken broth and covered the pan.
Make the vinaigrette.
In a medium-sized Mason jar, combine 2 Tablespoons mild onion or shallot, finely diced; 6 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar, 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Combine a 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette, quinoa and all the cooked an uncooked vegetables in a bowl. Mix to coat the vegetables and quinoa. Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
The great thing about this salad is that you can add your favorite vegetables or what is available. Alter quantities as needed. The original version included thinly sliced radishes and half-moon shaped slices of zucchini squash. Other options would include asparagus, scallions, summer squash, beans, nuts, mushrooms, eggplant, peas, herbs, and any lettuce greens. Anything a garden yields can be added to this salad! A little leftover pasta could also be added as well as croutons, cheese, leftover veggies, pretzels and/or canned veggies.
At the restaurant, I added grilled chicken to the salad. Ham, shrimp or salmon would also be lovely.
I remade this dish the next week using diced onion, diced bell pepper, sliced fennel, chopped kale, shrimp, quinoa and vinaigrette. It was amazing!