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I feel like summer is officially coming into swing here in Oregon—and this salad gives a nod to some of my favorite Oregon products (you can find these ingredients anywhere!). We are just starting to see strawberries crop up at the farmers market. Local whole-grain producer Bob’s Red Mill produces the quinoa. Hazelnuts are the official state nut of Oregon, grown predominantly in the Willamette Valley.
This is a great salad for summer—it’s so fresh tasting with zesty lemon dressing, fresh herbs, protein-packed quinoa, tangy goat cheese, and sweet strawberries.
Quinoa is a true superfood for athletes: It is a great source of protein and complex carbohydrate, making it perfect for preparing for long endurance workouts and for recovery after workouts
True to my no-fuss in the kitchen approach, this recipe is super adaptable: swap out walnuts or almonds for hazelnuts; trade feta for goat cheese; you could substitute farro, barley, kamut, or another “super grain” instead of quinoa; you can even experiment with different berries—I think blueberries could be a great alternative as we get deeper into the summer months.
Summer Strawberry and Quinoa Salad Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lemon – juiced
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey, agave or maple syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 ½ cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
3 cups greens: mixed greens, spinach, kale, or arugula
⅓ cup hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
½ cup radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup basil, sliced
¼ cup mint, sliced
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled into pea-sized pieces
Make the vinaigrette:
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. The dressing should be lemony and zingy and taste good enough to eat on salad greens. Add a pinch more salt or pepper if needed.
Assemble the salad:
In a large bowl combine quinoa, greens, hazelnuts, strawberries, radishes, basil & mint. Toss well to combine. Add vinaigrette and give a quick mix. Add goat cheese at the end. Give one more light mix.
A few quick notes:
- If you need a recipe to cook quinoa: Rinse 1 cup of quinoa under cold water for 1-2 minutes. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until water is absorbed (approx. 15 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. This will produce 4 cups of cooked quinoa. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Toasting nuts: In a small pan over medium heat, add nuts. Toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Watch closely as this happens quickly. 1 minute or so for smaller type seeds, 2 minutes or so for larger nuts.
- Did you know pre-crumbled cheese has additional “anti-caking” agents added to it? Read your labels and if you can, fresh is best!
- I served this alongside grilled salmon, 10/10 I would recommend!