Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini Recipe


I know you all love a good quinoa salad. And, my apologies, it has been a while since one was featured here. I've been waiting for just the right one to come my way. And here it is :) It was a quirky mix of green onions, dill, sesame, lemon and currants that caught my attention in this version from Maria Speck's new book. Crumbled feta lends a bit of saltiness to play off the sweetness of the currants, and shredded zucchini brings a moistness that can be missing in some grain-based salads. All around, really tasty.

Summer Quinoa Recipe

This is one of those recipes that comes together in far less time than you'd think. Quinoa cooks up rather quickly, and I prepped the rest of the ingredients while it was simmering away. It's great as a side, or topped with a fried egg - pictured just above. And I'm imagining it being one of those easy-going summer salads that I can prep in advance and not worry about serving hot. I made quinoa patties with the leftovers, and left notes about how to do that in the head notes down below.

I should also note that I made a few tweaks to Maria's original recipe based on personal preference. For example, I scaled back on the currants a bit. But as Maria mentions, this is the sort of salad that is endlessly adaptable based on what you like. Play around with nuts in place of the seeds, and different fresh herbs in place of the dill. But if you can stand it, try it this way at least once, it's a really fresh combination of ingredients that you might not put together otherwise.

 
 
 
 

Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

This is great with crumbled feta. But it's also perfect with thinned-out, salted, plain yogurt. Also, for those of you who are fans of quinoa patties - I made patties out of the leftovers by combining a scant 3 cups of leftovers with 4 beaten eggs, and enough breadcrumbs to thicken things up a bit - 1/2 cup or so. Press with hands firmly into patties, then pan-fry, covered.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g dried currants
1 lemon
2 sm-med zucchini, grated on box grater
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

feta cheese, crumbled - as much or as little as you like

To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add most of the green onions, a pinch of the salt, and cook until the onions soften, just a couple minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains dry out and toast a bit, roughly another 3 minutes. Add the water, the currants, the remaining salt; bring to a boil. Dial back the heat and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is just cooked through- 15 minutes or so. Be mindful here, you don't want to overcook the quinoa, and have it go to mush.

While the quinoa is cooking zest the lemon, and squeeze 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a small bowl.

When the quinoa is cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, most of the sesame seeds, and most of the dill. Taste and adjust for salt.

Serve, turned out onto a platter, topped with crumbled feta, and the remaining green onions, sesame seeds, and dill.

Serves 6.

Adapted from the Lemon Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini in Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, published by Ten Speed Press, 2011.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 20 min

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Your Comments


A Teenage Gourmet
May 25, 2011

So creative!

 

Jessica
May 25, 2011

yum. Will definitely be trying this in the near-future! Thanks!

 

This sounds like a delicious and very healthy recipe. The flavour combination sounds great!

 

Jessica @ How Sweet
May 25, 2011

Adding this quinoa to the list! Fabulous.

 

This looks delicious! I definitely need to experiment more with quinoa, and with currants, dill, and zucchini that will be some very delicious experimentation. YUM

 

Endlessly adaptable salads are great! I love the addition of currants in it and it reminds me how much I love adding raisins or dried fruit to salad...just a little extra texture, sweetness, and fun-ness in each bite :)

You and Maria have a winner here!

 

I need to get on the quinoa train! I cook with so many grains, I am not sure why I haven't made this one yet. I will try this when zucchini shows up in our farmers market which shouldn't be too much longer. Leftovers for patties sounds even better. thanks

 

Ashlae
May 25, 2011

Ever since the spiced coconut spinach recipe, I've been adding unsweetened coconut to everything. I think I may even add it to this, considering I have every ingredient to make it.. and zucchini that will be bad unless it's used tomorrow. I also love that you added dried currants - they bring such great texture to this recipe.

 

sweet road
May 25, 2011

This looks delicious... almost something i would want to try for breakfast! I like the idea of adding feta... I might try it with some crumbled goat cheese.

 

Nicole
May 25, 2011

Any tips for rinsing quinoa? I always seem to waste a lot in the process.

HS: I use a fine-meshed strainer, so the little guys can't sneak through.

 

Nancy
May 25, 2011

So true, I can never have too many quinoa salad recipes. Lovely combination here; I might try adding some preserved lemon too. And great idea to make patties with the leftovers :)

 

DessertForTwo
May 25, 2011

I have been addicting to your little quinoa patties lately! Thanks for another quinoa recipe :)

I've been eyes Ms. Speck's book too--maybe for the cookbook club soon?

Have a great weekend :)

 

I could never have enough ways to cook quinoa - I love it! This version sounds wonderful. I also like the idea of cooking up some patties with the left-overs. Delicious!

 

Heidi, this looks great. I have method for making "feta" from tofu and miso and that would be great crumbled in this as well, for the vegan crowd. http://bit.ly/f6bQ32

Nicole: I do have a tip for rinsing quinoa. Commercial quinoa has been washed multiple times to remove the bitter coating called saponin, so it only needs a light rinsing. I have a mesh strainer and I just tilt the pan to pour out the water, catching any stray grains in the mesh and then tapping them back into the saucepan. Then I add my filtered water for cooking. Hope this helps!

 

this sounds delicious! nothing's better than well cooked quinoa!

 

Joy
May 25, 2011

Mhmmmm so healthy, so good.

HS: Loving your site Joy!

 

Katrina
May 25, 2011

Mmm such a delish and healthy idea!

 

This looks lovely, I adore dill. A nice change form my usual quinoa salad :)
Heidi xo

 

Ruth
May 26, 2011

This ticks all the right boxes for me. Only a matter of time before it's cooked up in my kitchen!

 

Katarina
May 26, 2011

Healthy and good!

 

Ann-Louise
May 26, 2011

What a fresh and gorgeous salad! I love the idea of mixing grated zucchini in it and the fried egg on top. Quinoa is quickly becoming my best friend in the kitchen. :)

 

Nancy
May 26, 2011

This looks yum, will have to give it a whirl!

 

JL goes Vegan
May 26, 2011

Love it! Have you noticed the quinoa recipes on the NY Times this week? The world is catching on!

I imagine this dish is tasty warm and cold. I've been cooking up my quinoa in the pressure cooker (or rice cooker) lately and it sure it easy. I've got a raw, vegan feta cheese recipe on my counter. Seems like a good time to try it!

 

Karin
May 26, 2011

I have never eaten quinoa before, can you imagine that? But I did buy a bag of quinoa the other day, so now I really want to try it. Thanks for all the inspiration!

 

Val
May 26, 2011

wholesome grains and springtime vegetables makes for a perfect meal. Looking forward to giving this a try.

 

brandi@BranAppetit
May 26, 2011

This looks like the perfect spring/summer lunchtime salad, especially with the egg on top. I love quick grain salads like this - they're so versatile.

PS: I'm officially addicted to your unda style quesadillas.

 

Molly
May 26, 2011

I've been reading some really great things about that cookbook and am quite excited that it's full of terrific recipes like this one. I think at some point I might go the patties route, and maybe do a thick yogurt/tahini/lemony sauce -- to play up the sesame seeds and zest -- on the side.

 

Simply Life
May 26, 2011

oh my! I'm loving this mix!

 

Honestly Good Food
May 26, 2011

Just caught the article in Whole Living. Congratulations, it was great!

 

This looks fantastic- I love anything with dill. This looks perfect as a refreshing summer salad! I can't wait until local zucchini is in season here :)

xo

 

Snippets of Thyme
May 26, 2011

This looks like a delicious quinoa salad version. I like the addition of the currants and I always love the addition of feta cheese. If you are interested, I recently made a "black" toasted quinoa salad that you might enjoy. Here is the link for it if you want to take a peek.I got the recipe from a class at Williams-Sonoma.

 

J
May 26, 2011

Do you soak/rinse the quinoa before hand and then toast it? Or does it not need rinsing it in this instance? Thanks!

HS: I'm in the habit of always rinsing quinoa.

 

Michelle
May 26, 2011

Oh this is tasty! You are right, many grain salads are too dry.

 

Jess
May 26, 2011

I love quinoa with a fried egg. I often make "junkyard quinoa" which means cleaning out the fridge of leftovers and the last of the veg. Put it all together and toss a fried egg on top. It's always surprisingly good and I feel like a rock star. :)

 

Stephanie
May 26, 2011

Can't wait to try it! I enjoy quinoa salads a lot, especially since I now cook the quinoa in the rice cooker. My joy this winter was a Quinoa Kale Salad.

 

Katie
May 26, 2011

You're totally right, Heidi. I do love a good quinoa salad, and this one looks unusual enough to give a try.
My usual quinoa salad involves butter-toasted quinoa, a lemon vinaigrette (Meyer if it's right season), arugula, supremed blood oranges, and a poached egg.

 

Amanda Mae
May 26, 2011

oh my gosh. love me some quinoa! I loooove quinoa salads.

oh ... and your book. I've been cooking through the whole darn thing... it's amazing!

 

Georgia Pellegrini
May 26, 2011

I love quinoa, and you're right about the sweetness and moistness, it's such a great way to balance it. Quinoa is tender with a little crunch which I love. And I like all of the colors it comes in, which can be fun to mix.

 

joan
May 26, 2011

Absolutely uncanny -- was just pondering quinoa salad for dinner when POP! Incoming 101 cookbooks email. How did you know?

 

Carrie
May 26, 2011

Wonderful!! This is in perfect alignment with my diet! I take so many of your recipes and tweak them to fit, but this one will not need any tweaking at all!!

 

One thing that I love about quinoa is how it picks up the flavors of the ingredients in the dish. I could see how the earthiness of the dill would really resonate throughout this. Beautiful!

 

Sonja
May 26, 2011

What a timing, I have just ordered this book from Amazon and I was wondering how come I have not heard anyone mentioning it?!?!?! and here you are with your version of this salad, thank you Heidi, this new book is a great addition for anyone who is interested in whole grains

 

Emily
May 26, 2011

I'm always looking for new ways to prepare Quinoa - this sounds fabulous!

 

Kathy
May 26, 2011

I make one very much like this except with cilantro, pineapples, cashews, and green onions. I love the idea of making patties out of the leftovers, I'll have to give that a try.

 

Dipti
May 26, 2011

Yum, I love quinoa and so does my baby. I have been looking for a good side dish for his birthday party. The main dish is delivered pizzed, but am looking for a healthier addition for adults. How can I adjust this recipe to serve 25 people?

If I don't use feta cheese, do I need to add salt to the mix?

 

meg
May 26, 2011

Quinoa salads are endlessly adaptable. They're great for clearing out the fridge or when you don't know what to cook for dinner. Dried cherries and chopped dried apricots are my favorite fruit additions.

 

Cassie
May 26, 2011

Delicious! Currants are one of my favorite dried fruits and I don't use them nearly enough. And with zucchini being so plentiful right now, this salad fits right in.

 

Melanie
May 26, 2011

This salad looks delicious! I just bought your cookbook Super Natural Everyday, and have loved everything I have tried so far! My husband and I made the white bean and cabbage dish as well as the yogurt biscuits for dinner last night and they were both wonderfully simple and delicious. I do have a question about the biscuits, ours did not fluff up as much as it looked like yours had in the picture. We're pretty sure we followed all the instructions. Any tips?

 

molly @ mollys menu
May 26, 2011

This looks like the perfect summer salad. I love how the zucchini is grated so that it is roughly the same size as the quinoa, making it very easy and tasty to eat!

 

thetwicebitten
May 26, 2011

10/10 summer salad. Ill be the belle of the bbq when i bring along this little number

 

carolyn
May 26, 2011

heidi, i'm disappointed that you didn't address the impact of the popularization of quinoa in more developed countries on Bolivian culture. it's a really sobering reminder of the social implications of the food-- especially the trendy food. i also noticed the nytimes this week is having a showcase on quinoa recipes, with a little aside that reassures us (us! the western consumer!) that all will be well if we buy fair trade quinoa. fair trade will benefit the farmers' earnings, but commodification of quinoa still raises the price of this food and makes it unaccessible to those who really need the nutritional benefits (not to forget that the food people eat is intrinsic to our cultures). it's troubling, certainly a problem that we can't just eat away.

i had hoped someone would start a conversation about this, especially someone in the natural-food community with a voice i respect like yours. what are your thoughts?


HS: I think the whole issue is really complicated. So I'll just say this - I'd love to see - and support - more domestically produced quinoa. I think there are a small number of growers in Colorado. And here's a farm you can order a couple kinds from in limited quantities. Is this naive? I have no idea. I enjoy cooking and eating quinoa on occasion. It's a great ingredient on all sorts of fronts - quick-cooking, interesting texture, strong nutritionally. And I tend to buy organic, fair-trade quinoa that is tied to various cooperative-related projects and job-producing initiatives. So yeah, not sure I have any real answers. If you stop buying quinoa, does that help or hurt the overall situation? Definitely interested in seeing where this story goes, and how growers, governments, and consumers evolve, respond, etc.

 

Looks light and healthy! Perfect for summer!

 

mayacook
May 26, 2011

Perfect!! It's in salad that I prefer quinoa, which I often associate with feta....I keep your version in mind!

 

The grated zucchini is such a nice idea. I never think of using dill, but it seems to be such a versatile herb, I should really use it more often!

 

Katie@Cozydelicious
May 26, 2011

I love that you served your salad with a fried egg on top - I would do exactly te same. This dish looks wonderful - healthy, hearty and bright.

 

Andrea
May 26, 2011

Carolyn, that was an issue I wasn't aware of. Thanks for drawing it to my attention (and making me thoroughly depressed -- as usual it's the poor aboriginal folk of the world who get shafted so that the rest of the world can profit both monetarily and nutritiously.)

Does quinoa need a special kind of climate to grow? Couldn't we in North America grow our own somehow?

 

Mae
May 26, 2011

This looks healthy and delicious!

 

Mamaholt
May 26, 2011

You need to move to Austin so you can have your own chickens! Wish I could send you some as repayment for all your delicious recipes that have graced our not-so-graceful table.

 

Irene
May 26, 2011

@Carolyn, you took the words right out of my mouth about the impacts of quinoa eating. Heidi, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

 

Tonya
May 26, 2011

I've never cooked with quinoa before, so I gave this recipe a try for dinner this week. My quinoa came out really mushy -- it all mushed together and wasn't individual grains. I cooked it for about 20 minutes with the lid on. Any suggestions?? It was still quite tasty, but not nearly as pretty as your pics!

 

tijoe
May 26, 2011

I'm trying this tonight for sure

 

Lori
May 26, 2011

I've never seen green onions look so beautiful. Heidi, you are truly gifted.

 

V. Gourmet
May 26, 2011

I just love simple, flavorful quinoa dishes - this is such a great take on such a great favorite!

 

The Healthy Apple
May 26, 2011

Yeaaa; a Fabulous Gluten-Free recipe....I love it, Heidi. I'm a huge fan of quinoa and this recipe looks delicious. Thank you for sharing.

 

carol
May 26, 2011

I just made the rye soda bread and the dough was so sticky, I couldn't knead it without adding much more flour than the recipe called for. Any ideas about what could've gone wrong or is it really that sticky?

 

bianca
May 26, 2011

I love quinoa- it can be made into a sweet breakfast or into a savoury side; it really is the best!

 

Amanda
May 26, 2011

Yeah, I could handle that for dinner...

 

Liz
May 26, 2011

Delicious! Made this for dinner tonight and tossed in some toasted garbanzos. I loved all the different flavors and textures...another great recipe, thank you Heidi! (Had to omit the dill because I didn't have any, but it was still super tasty:)

 

this sounds and looks delicious! though i must admit i'm a little conflicted about eating quinoa since i heard on npr that the fact that it has become so trendy in the US has driven up the price in peru to the point where peruvian people can't afford it, and it used to be a staple of their diet.

 

Erin Knight
May 26, 2011

Yum!!! I just made this today =) I know for sure this will be one i make again!

 

Maureen
May 26, 2011

A great combination....I ate the whole thing myself!

 

Monica
May 26, 2011

Re: the negative effects of the increased popularity of quinoa, there are two sides to every issue. There are people in America who cannot afford nutritious food and yet that does not stop you from eating fruits and vegetables. The most we can do as consumers is to be conscious of these issues and take what steps we can, in this case, we can choose to purchase from companies with the fair trade logo.

 

emm
May 26, 2011

Funny, I just made quinoa salad last night after way too many months of none. This salad sounds perfect.

 

emm
May 26, 2011

So, I've just now read through everyones comments and just wanted to say, for anyone reading this from Australia, Quinoa is now grown organically on the North-west coast of Tasmania. You can buy in online here... http://www.goodness.com.au/store/p1268/Organic-Quinoa---Australian-25KG/product_info.html

 

emm
May 26, 2011

Sorry for my many comments! If only I could think of everything I want to write at once, right? So I was thinking, it's a really crap situation that the locals in places like Bolivia and Peru can't afford to eat quinoa now that it's trendy in the west. However, this happens everywhere in the world. Take New Zealand for example. It is more expensive to buy NZ butter, dairy and lamb in NZ than elsewhere in the world, because all our prime produce gets sent overseas. Butter is now so overpriced that many families do without. Food for thought?

 

Janet Paula Lieber
May 27, 2011

I'm an American living in Israel and was searching my mind about what to do with the pre-cooked quinoa that I have. I also bought some zucchini two days ago and, of course, always have dill and raisins (currents) on hand.

Magically your recipe showed up.

Just wanted to say thanks and tell you that this is not the first time I received a useful and timely recipe of yours.

 

rose water
May 27, 2011

Yummi, I prepared this dish yesterday and my husband and I loved it! :-) The only thing is I think it ended up looking a bit less fresh than on your picture above... But anyway it was really a lovely dish and I can't wait to have it for lunch today :-)

 

rose water
May 27, 2011

Oh I see Tonya (see comment above) had the same "problem" as I did. Perhaps somebody has a suggestion about what we're doing wrong? :-)

HS: Hi rose water, Hi Tonya, my guess is that you overcooked the quinoa a bit. You don't want to go too far, just until the quinoa is cooked through. Sort of like when you cook pasta, when you cook it al dente. I'll update the recipe with a note to be careful on this front.

 

kimberleigh
May 27, 2011

Was so pleasantly surprised to open my latest issue of Whole Living and find a featured story on you! Beautiful layout ... great photography and wonderful story!

 

Sarah
May 27, 2011

There are a lot of crops besides quinoa that the global north loves to eat because they are "healthy" and for which the farmers and middle men of the global south get shafted. It's not just quinoa. The broccoli you buy in a grocery store, for instance---even the organic kind---was most likely grown by a central American farmer who is subject to a lot of structural injustice in the system.
I'm glad this was brought up, but as Heidi notes---it's complicated. Thinking about this, if nothing else, is a nice reminder about how the act of consuming food is so much more than just nourishing ourselves...and one more reason to consider seasonal/local grains and produce as healthy---for ourselves, for the environment, and for others.
Again---it's nice to see this dialogue here.

 

Caffettiera
May 27, 2011

I always have a psychological block with raw zucchini. I like them but I never think about using them. I can see them providing perfect moisture to this salad. I'll try it for sure. Thanks Heidi, you are always a sure inspiration.

 

Carlyn Berghoff
May 27, 2011

This recipe looks amazing...I can't wait to try it! I am always looking for tasty, high protein meals to serve my gluten-free family. This one is sure to be a hit, thanks!

 

genevieve
May 27, 2011

I can't wait to try this one out!

You always have such fresh and inspired recipe ideas. Between your stunning photographs, wonderful ideas, and my new-found vegetarianism, I couldn't help but buy Super Natural Everyday, and I love it to bits! Thank you for all the inspiration and, indirectly, tasty meals.

 

Ivana
May 27, 2011

Hi Heidi!

I don't think I've ever left a comment on your site before but I think it's about time that I did.

Many of your recipes become staples in my kitchen once I've tried them, so much so that I'm not sure what I used to eat before I became a follower of your site.

Your quinoa and grilled zucchini recipe with the avocado-cilantro dressing was one of those instant favorites. However, the extra step of grilling the zucchini made me turn away from it over time... That's why I was so thrilled to see that you simply used shredded raw zucchini in this one. Now why didn't I think of that? I might combine the two recipes and see what comes out...

Keep up the amazing work: your books and website are a constant inspiration and source of joy in my life!

Thanks for everything.

 

Jenna
May 27, 2011

That looks delicious! I'll definitely be making this with the leftover quinoa I have in my cupboard!

This is a little off topic, but I just have to comment. I really, really want your new cookbook, but it's a little expensive in the UK, £28 // $46 at the moment on Amazon, so I've been waiting (ever so un-patiently!). However, I just found out that my brother is flying to the States next week, so I just went to order it on Amazon.com. And that's when I saw your PERFECT 5-star rating. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW everything you do is 5 stars, but there's always going to be someone complaining about something. I've never seen such a perfect rating on, well... anything. After seeing that I thought it was about time I commented (for the first time!) to say congratulations and to tell you that I've been following your blog for 3 years now (after googling best pancakes and finding your favorite pancake recipe - amazing). You're a true inspiration and the reason why my entire family and so many friends now know (and eat) quinoa! :)

So congratulations once again and thank you for your consistently wonderful recipes!

 

Anonymous
May 27, 2011

Can anyone tell me how to wash quinoa (which is always specified in recipes) without losing half of it down the drain? I've tried cheesecloth but then it seems to cling to the cloth....

 

Hajnal
May 27, 2011

This looks fantastic. I was wondering if you had the nutrition values available per serving? Thanks!

 

Dr. Sarah Cimperman
May 27, 2011

I'm always looking for more ways to make salads with quinoa. This is a great recipe!

 

Wendy
May 27, 2011

I made this tonight for my veggie teenage daughter and myself. It was really delicious. I gave it an 8 out of 10, she gave it a 7 out of 10. I wasn't sure what side of the grater I should use. I ended up using the largest holes and it turned out just fine. Will try it next time creamy with the yogurt!

 

LizS
May 28, 2011

I use the Ancient Harvest brand of quinoa. It is pre-washed and doesn't need rinsing. I love quinoa and make it for family and friends often. None of us has become ill from not washing the quinoa and I am glad to eliminate that step from preparation. Since I often see disclosure statements when people recommend brands, I will say that no one I know works at Ancient Harvest and I don't benefit from recommending them.

Heidi, I am a gluten-free person and I love your recipes.

 

Sprinkleandserve
May 28, 2011

Looks like a great side for a bbq!

 

Tammi Kibler
May 28, 2011

I am going to make a version of this today, though I'll be substituting with summer squash, cranberries, and cilantro.

Thanks for the inspiration!

 

aveline
May 28, 2011

grated zucchini + lemon juice + sesame seeds + warm tasty quinoa... wow, i'm enjoying this.

i had no currants, no dill, so i threw in some fresh mint from the garden - i mean, from the balcony. not the same, probably, but i liked it anyway.

would this work with amaranth? perhaps?

 

aveline
May 28, 2011

that was my first post ever, but i'm actually a regular - a friend introduced me to foodblogging a few months ago, i've been clicking on 101cookbooks obsessively ever since!
i made your buckwheat breton cake. several times. and i made your yogurt tartlets (in a 9" - works perfectly - with lemon-ginger, ginger only, lemon only, vanilla...) again and again. they've become my - and everyone's - all-time favorites.
and i've made your six-seed soda bread. i can't count how many times. i've become known as the friend who brings these amazing desserts and surprising treats.
i love your site. it's actually really changed my life - you make cooking healthy, tasty, and lovely, so simple and inspiring. when i feel low, i come here. when i feel stressed, or tired, or bored, or angry, i come here. when i feel happy, i come here. thank you.

 

The Artist Chef
May 28, 2011

as usual, iam naturally stunned :)

 

ChefBlogDigest
May 29, 2011

Looks healthy and delicious! I learned a new recipe today from your post. Thanks for sharing.

 

caitlin
May 29, 2011

I'm also a regular on this blog though this is my first time commenting. So before I ask my question I just want to say I'm a huge fan!! The rosemary olive oil cake and the spinach chop from the new cookbook are total staples for me.

I had the same problem as Tonya and one other commenter above - I cook quinoa on my own with basic pre very frequently, and usually have no problem getting it to be perfectly fluffy. But I made this dish last night, and even with checking every other minute or so, my quinoa went straight from watery/unabsorbed to mushy in less than 15 minutes. Is it possible I undercooked it? Or had the heat wrong? I see that you'll be posting a note which I'm looking forward to - I think I'll really like this salad when I get the consistency right!

 

Robo Stir
May 29, 2011

Looks soo yuummyyy and healthy! I'll surely try this this coming weekend.. Thanks for the awesome recipe.. :):)

 

Perfect. I've been living on quinoa salads lately!

 

marsha
May 29, 2011

I loved this salad. It was the perfect combination of snap in the mouth from the currants + sesame seeds and a sweet (currants) + savory feel in the mouth. I added chopped fennel so I could use the fennel fronds in place of dill, which was a nice addition. I also scattered fresh chives on top.
It did take a long time, almost twice as long as the recipe called for, for the quinoa to absorb the water. I ended up taking the lid off a number of times so that it would absorb quicker and tasting to make sure it wasn't getting soggy but it turned out fine. Still had an al dente feel to it. Thoughts? I used the Alter Eco black quinoa in the package but saw it in bulk @ WF for two dollars less. It was pricey so I see why it has been overpriced for natives of Peru. I'll explore alternatives. But I really think this salad rocks! Feta was the crowning touch.

Thanks for this Heidi.

 

Yenka
May 29, 2011

Looks delicious!

 

Lisa B
May 29, 2011

i just made this and it tastes great! i love the toasted sesame seeds in it. mm! my quinoa was a bit runny at the end. suggest adding a little less water. thanks!

 

Tonya
May 29, 2011

I bet you could substitute golden raisins for the currants for another variation. Will definitely try this recipe!

 

Richard
May 29, 2011

Wow, looks amazing and healthy too!

 

Rose
May 29, 2011

Mmm, i cant get enough of currents in salad...and quinoa is so damn healthy, its practically an edible spa...

 

Mara
May 29, 2011

I wanted to make this as soon as I started reading. As I went through the recipe, I realized I had a lot of similar ingredients on hand, so I did a riff on the original recipe: chopped dates in place of currants, cucumbers in place of zucchini, goat cheese (with sundried tomatoes and chili flakes, from the local farmer's market) in place of feta, a basil/thyme/chive combo from my window box in place of the dill and green onions. It turned out delicious.

Can't wait to do a version more true to the original, and to find other variations!

 

pianina
May 30, 2011

Where I live (Poland) quinoa is very expensive, so I made your salad today, but replacing the quinoa with bulgur. I also used dried cranberries instead of currants as I had some in stock. It turned out very nice indeed. Chopped up cucumbers in brine are also a nice addition!

 

Maria Speck
May 30, 2011

Hi everyone,

I'm the author of the new whole grain cookbook “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” whose recipe Heidi so beautifully showcases here. As a few of you (Dipti, Tonya, rose water, caitlin, and Marsha) had issues with getting the quinoa cooked just right, I’m writing to assure you that this is perfectly normal and comes up regularly when cooking whole grains. I address this directly in my book. There is tremendous variation in grains—just like in any other food. No two grain batches you buy in the store are the same. The grain can be just a few months old or sitting on the shelf for a while, even a long while. Pots are different. Last but not least, personal choice also plays a role: what one person calls a “mushy” side another eater might praise a “beautifully moist” salad.

If you find your quinoa in this recipe too mushy, just make a note and start with 1 3/4 cups water the next time you cook it. Check towards the end of the cooking time and adjust by adding a bit more water if needed. On the reverse, if you find your quinoa a bit too “toothsome” just add a bit more water and cook a bit longer. Thank you all for your enthusiasm for this recipe, and thank you Heidi for selecting it from my book, and presenting it so stunningly.

 

Jen
May 30, 2011

I just posted a quinoa salad on my blog too. I can't wait to try yours!

 

Sue
May 30, 2011

I am brand new to your website and just tried this recipe. Love it -- first time using quinoa. Couldn't be any easier to make and such a nice change. I look forward to more of your recipes. Thank you.

 

Sonia
May 30, 2011

Very tasty, especially with the fried egg.

I'd cut down the water a smidge, and I always heed Peter Berley's (The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen) suggestion that, if you're using a grain for a salad, it's best to boil lightly salted water FIRST, then add the grain. This keeps things more separate and less "sticky". I just heat water in my teakettle while toasting the grains.

I put some chopped Marcona almonds on top--worked well.

 

Quinoa is the perfect grain for salads. Can't wait to try this version, looks delightful.

I just posted a quinoa salad recipe on my blog, more like a tabbouleh.

Thanks for sharing.

 

Yuri
May 30, 2011

I love quinoa! thanks for sharing this lovely recipe

 

currants go perfectly with quinoa - b/c they're both so teeny!

 

Ruth Stephens
May 31, 2011

Made this for dinner the day it was posted, and as we in NZ are heading into winter, just served it as a hot dish - fabulous! Did some of the usual improvising and substituting with herbs, nuts etc - no need to worry about it not still being delicious! Then made it again the next day to take to a barbeque - kitchen therapy at it's best!

 

Ava Catau
May 31, 2011

Great recipe! I just made it for dinner and it was delicious! I made few slight modifications to accommodate what I had on hand: dried cranberries instead of the currants, fresh chives and parsley instead of the dill. I'll probably scale back the water to 1-3/4 cups next time because mine was still a bit too moist when the quinoa was cooked perfectly. Big fan of your blog, thanks for sharing!

 

Ann
May 31, 2011

this sounds terrific but i HATE zucchini (and its yellow cousins). any suggestions for an alternate ingredient?

 

Green
May 31, 2011

Lovely - I'm intrigued to see how the currants and dill meld. I've been itching to try a nice grain salad and this sounds like a perfect jumping off point. Great pics, Heidi!

 

Rebekah Kuk
June 1, 2011

Husband made this yesterday, and I'm enjoying it for lunch today. Very refreshing with this heat wave in the mid-Atlantic. We ran out of currants so made up the difference with chopped raisins, and it's great. Thanks!

 

Kirsten
June 1, 2011

I made this last night (substituted dried cranberries for currants) and it was fantastic!

Thank you for another quinoa salad recipe!!

 

jedda
June 1, 2011

I made this Quinoa recipe for a summer luncheon party and everyone loved it served cold with a side of crumbled feta. Very well received! Thanks, Heidi!

 

azi
June 1, 2011

very very full

 

Lisa@Petit Appetit
June 1, 2011

The addition of the feta with the quinoa is great. I'm always looking for new ways to present this wonderful and healthy food to my kids and family.

Not only is quinoa easy and quick to cook, but is great to have on hand (left-overs) for salads, soups and quick sides. Also makes a good "crust" for frittatas.

 

Barbara
June 2, 2011

Carolyn, thank you for your comment + the link, I was not aware of that issue. After reading this, I chose to use millet instead of quinoa - I can get locally grown millet here. It was delicious!
Heidi, thank you for this beautiful recipe!

 

Deb
June 2, 2011

Heidi,
I'm a new fan and so pleased to have found you! I made this last night as MY veggie dish with my carnivore husband, kids & thier friends. They sampled and loved. I added some sliced rhubarb from the garden that I drizzled with honey & roasted for 5 minutes in a 500 deg oven. I had to subst dried cranberries for currents. Beautiful, delicious, and healthy. Thank you for this inspirational recipe.

 

Linda
June 2, 2011

Made it! Delicious! Thanks :o)

 

Coincidentally, I made this dish the other night. I'll be sure to enjoy the leftovers with crumbled feta cheese. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm a big fan of Maria's new book ... so glad you featured it.

 

sergio nunez
June 2, 2011

Hi, about the comment above from Carolyn regarding the high price of quinoa and it being inaccessible to the poor in the countries where it comes from. My job is to provide a market access service to the farmers who plant quinoa in the Andes. They are some of the poorest farmers in the world and thanks to consumers in North America and Europe (and our efforts) their incomes have tripled, from $35 to $90 per month per family. This is not much still but we consider it a fair price for quinoa. Now regarding to people in the Andes not eating it- that's a lie. Peruvians- who are close to Bolivians in poverty- eat 51% of the world's quinoa and import 26 million pounds of quinoa from Bolivia every year- just as much as the entire U.S. The article that created all the noise interviewed a couple of people in the cities who don't eat quinoa much (quinoa has been demonized for 500 years in South America by the Spanish and is just now starting to be rediscovered and integrated into the diets of city dwellers). All this said, the focus is on the Bolivian government who is promoting increasd production to make more quinoa available locally and to teach/encourage its people how to eat quinoa. We visit the quinoa farmers regularly and they are still eating quinoa at least twice a day!


HS: Hi Sergio, thank you for including your insight and perspective here. It is helpful, and certainly interesting. I know I read at one point that quinoa farmers had been selling at a loss for a long time, and that relatively recently things were starting to shift for the better - but it's hard to know what the reality is on the farms, or what information is even accurate. Thanks again for commenting - I'd be interested to know how an article like that impacts your work and the farmers in the coming months.

 

Mrs D
June 2, 2011

Yummy - I will be making this for work lunch next week, thank you Heidi. Practically every quinoa recipe I make comes from your wonderful site.

Also wanted to add if I may, that I finally got my copy of SNED. Gah! It's so gorgeous, I just love it. It's such a fantastic companion piece to SNC. The morning that I received it I made the breakfast bulghur and the yoghurt biscuits (and proceeded to inhale all but three biscuits that day, eek). I can't wait to get into the rest of the recipes. Well done on such a gorgeous, easy to use and lovely to read book. Bravo!


HS: Thanks so much Mrs. D! Hope you continue to enjoy the book.

 

Lisa
June 3, 2011

I made this last night, so delicious, thank you.

I added in some rocket leaves (arugula??) to add some more green. I was cautious about the currants as I'm not a massive fan of sweet things in salads but they were delightful.

The only disappointment is that we ate it all and I was looking forward to having left overs for lunch.

 

When I first read the recipe I didn't realize the zucchini was grated and was perplexed how it work work - but shredding the zucchini is a great idea as you are in essence eating it raw. A great healthy recipe - thanks!

 

Jularcher
June 4, 2011

I just made this quinoa salad for dinner but didn't have all ingreds so used raisins instead of currants, basil and cilantro instead of dill, lightly steamed mini broccoli florettes instead of grated zuke, and sliced avocado instead of feta. And I also added diced red pepper. So maybe it's not the same salad anymore, but it tasted just great! We have devoured it all - so much for leftover quinoa salad for Sunday lunch...

 

Emily
June 5, 2011

I made this tonight and it was very tasty -- i didn't have enough dill, so added fresh rosemary instead, and ran out of feta, so added some ricotta salata -- delicious.

Thanks for providing the inspiration!

 

Jamie
June 5, 2011

This is a homerun for summer. Tried it this weekend and love everything about this: vegetarian, healthy, refreshing, easy, lemony, delicious! Didn't have currants so I used golden raisins which worked well too.

 

Erin S.
June 6, 2011

I made this for my lucnhes this week and it is AMAZING! Good thing I portioned it out or I might have eaten it all in one sitting ;) Thanks!

 

HGH
June 7, 2011

Ok Just tried this out. Thank's for this one since flavours are amazing :)

 

Helen
June 8, 2011

Double win! Made this today for lunch with my pregnant neighbor (for whom nothing has been tasty lately) and she LOVED it and asked for the recipe since it's so incredibly nutritious for her and her blooming little one. Thank you for your beautiful blog and healthful inspirations.

 

Julia
June 9, 2011

I love your blog and have tried a few delicious recipes already. However, this one didn't turn out that well - I found it to be quite bitter. I probably got some white pith in it... need to buy a new zester!

 

I linked to my version of this salad. So good. I will cook it again (and next time I will be truer to your instructions).

I love the toasted sesame seeds!

 

Amy
June 10, 2011

I've made this recipe twice already. It is so delicious and refreshing in this early summer heat! Love it! The times I've made it, I've used dried cranberries instead of currants and omitted the sesame seeds (because I kept forgetting to buy them at the grocery store!) Very curious to try in patty version, too, but we eat it too quickly.

 

Monica
June 10, 2011

I skimmed through the comments but it looks like I am the only one who found this wayyy too lemony... I'm planning to try the patties with the leftovers though!

 

Bloominfoodie
June 12, 2011

Heidi, thanks for another wonderful recipe. I made this last night and subed cilantro for dill, asparagus for zucchini, lime for lemon, left out the sesame seeds and served it cold with cajun BBQ shrimp and fresh corn on the cob. It was a big hit. Thanks for the great inspiration.

 

Laura Frank
June 13, 2011

This was an amazing recipe! I made it yesterday so I could have it for lunch throughout the week. Not sure it will last that long! The toasted sesame seeds really make the dish. And zucchini is such an easy thing to grow (and abundant) so it is great to have an additional tasty recipe for its use. Thanks!

 

Nicole R.
June 13, 2011

Excellent recipe! I crumbled sprouted tofu and sea salt on top instead of feta, added chick peas, and lightly sautéed asparagus.

 

Kaye
June 13, 2011

Heidi, hi. I love your recipes and can't wait to try the ones in your new cookbook, but I had a problem with this one. It seems to call for too much water per volume of quinoa. Or is it just me? My rice always turns mushy unless I adjust the water downward by 25-50% or so. I'm here at sea level (+100' or so) with you in SF, so it's not an altitude thing. I uncovered the quinoa midway through the cooking because I could see it wouldn't turn nice and fluffy at the rate it was going. Thanks.

 

Kelly
June 15, 2011

Excellent! I skipped the cheese and put a fried egg on top. So delicious.

 

Amy
June 16, 2011

My very first taste of quinoa- clearly a little late to the party! Delish- especially with extra currants. Found your blog through Travellers Lunchbox & it's since become a must-read - full of inspiration to eat wholesomely! I also introduced a newly vegetarian friend & she is similarly smitten! Thanks so much x

 

Kaye
June 17, 2011

I salvaged this by tossing with a generous squirt of lemon juice, lots of grape tomatoes, some kalamata olives, and diced persian cucumber. I'd short the currants if taking this approach.

 

Matilda
June 17, 2011

such a great dish! i used cranberries instead of currants and it was just delicious! i also ordered maria's new cookbook & can't wait to try out all the amazing recipes!

 

Val
June 20, 2011

I loved this! As Maria mentioned, I like my quinoa more toothsome, so I cooked it in about 1 1/2 cups water, which was perfect for me. I rounded this out by adding a batch of cooked puy lentils and a few bunches of chopped steamed asparagus to the salad. It was a perfect light dinner.