Summer Quinoa Salad

School is out, or close, anyway. The days are longer and more relaxed, making it the perfect time to embrace the kitchen! Whether you’re packing for a picnic or just trying to keep cool as the mercury soars, this quick quinoa salad is the trick. If you’re new to quinoa, give it a try. It’s the ‘ancient Incan grain’ and heralded as super good for you. I love it because it’s delicious, versatile, and quick cooking. Prep the ingredients for the salad while the quinoa cooks, and toss it all together. Done.

Quinoa Salad

Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons light sesame oil (not the dark ‘toasted’ typee)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest, juice, and segments from 1 fresh orange*
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus additional for garnish

RINSE the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.

COMBINE the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

REDUCE the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes and remove from heat.

FLUFF the quinoa with a fork, add the raisins and cover for 5 inutes to plump them.

TRANSFER the quinoa to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the oil and lemon juice.

ADD the orange zest and the juice squeezed from the peels, plus the orange segments.

STIR in the green onions, almonds, and mint, topping with additional mint for garnish, if desired.


*TRIM the top and bottom off of the orange, using a very sharp knife. SET the fruit on end, and carefully cut the skin from the flesh, beginning at the top and following the curves down. Rotate each fruit as you go, removing all of the peel with a bit of fruit clinging to it. CUT out each section of the fruit by inserting the blade of the knife between the flesh and the membranes on both sides. The wedges should come out easily, leaving only the membrane intact.