Backyard Picnic Quinoa Salad

By Estelle Hayes

The warm weather has our family spending loads of time outside. I love to take my coffee on the backyard stoop in the mornings, even if it’s just for five minutes. It feels so good to get outside and check on the tomatoes and herbs.

Emerson has been loving backyard picnics these days. We spread out a blanket and take snacks outside in the shade. I highly recommend this quick, easy and healthy salad for your very own backyard picnic. Especially, if you’re new to quinoa – it’s a great gateway recipe.

Picnic Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup garbanzo beans
1/2  cucumber, sliced and quartered
1/4 cup kalamata olives, quartered
several sprigs basil, coarsely chopped
several sprigs mint, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Rinse quinoa well. Add to pot of 1 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa has sprouted and almost all the water has been absorbed. About 20 minutes.  Transfer to serving bowl and toss in all ingredients, plus olive oil. Mix well. I like to add the ingredients while the quinoa is hot. I find it helps release all the fresh flavors. Salt and pepper to taste. This salad is delicious warm but also travels well and makes for a great cold lunch.

Photo credit: Estelle Hayes

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  • Mel

    I love this type of salad and haven’t made it in ages. Must add it to my shopping list! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration. Summer grain salads are so great.

  • Tiffanyh4

    yummmmm.  dinner tonight!

  • Megan browne

    my favorite way to eat quinoa!

  • Daniellerips

    Sounds so yummy!

  • Mary Wasielewski

    sounds great!  i am definitely trying this.  I am new to quinoa, so i’ll use this as my gateway recipe.  

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  • Gomeggo

    So excited for this recipe!!

    • pinkmoondaily

      I hope you try it, Meg. It’s so good. We’ve been making a batch of it once a week all summer and eating it for lunch and dinner.