This chard and quinoa salad is a great, healthful recipe perfect for picnics and potlucks. Even my children are big fans. It can also be found on page 143 of my cookbook, The Warm Kitchen.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts or sunflower seeds (or both)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 head of chard, chopped with stems, placed in a large bowl of water to remove dirt (you can also use a box of frozen, chopped spinach which has been thawed and squeezed dry)
- 1/4 -1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
1. Prepare quinoa. Add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rinsed quinoa, and a pinch or two of salt to a medium pot. See below* for instructions.
2. In a non-stick skillet, toast nuts and/or sunflower seeds until golden brown; you don’t need to add oil. Remove from pan. If you don’t have time, add the pine nuts untoasted.
3. Heat large saute pan to medium. Add olive oil and cook onion with ground pepper. Do not add salt yet. Cook until onion is golden and translucent. If you are using frozen spinach, cook onion until it is golden and then proceed to step 5.
4. Remove chard from bowl, putting your hands into the water and scooping out the chard. If you pour the water out, the dirt will remain on the chard. Cook chard with onion, uncovered, until the chard is softened and bright green. Cool slightly.
5. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve room temperature or cold.
*Quinoa should be rinsed first (unless the label says it’s rinsed) as it has a natural soapy residue to it. The ratio of water to quinoa is 2:1. To cook, place water and quinoa in a medium pot with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook about 12-15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Tilt the pan to make sure there is no more water. Leave covered for 5 minutes before using.