This Quinoa, Cucumber and Radish Salad is perfect for a party or picnic. It’s packed with flavor, looks amazing and can sit outside because it’s mayo-free.
I’m guessing that people who had planned on vacationing on North Carolina’s beaches this holiday are rethinking things today. And, I’m figuring they’re pretty sad.
I imagine piles of suitcases sitting by door with straw hats, floaties, and bags of towels and sunscreen laid on top, all waiting for parents to get home from work so everyone can pile in the SUV or mini-van. But, sadly, there’s a big question mark hovering over those piles now too.
Hurricane Arthur seems to have sprung out of nowhere, churning up from a tropical depression to full on hurricane in a matter of days. For us, living four hours from the coast, we’ll be feeling Arthur today by way of rain (which we need) and thunderstorms (which I like).
My in-laws, who live in Wilmington, right smack dab where the eye is supposed to cross, will have a birds’ eye view of the big stuff. No, they’re not planning on leaving town. This one is, after all, ‘just’ a category 1.
So, we won’t be visiting my in-laws this holiday. We’ll be joining all the other folks who won’t be heading to the beach either. That means an impromptu 4th of July party may be in order.
I still had radishes left from yesterday’s Summer Squash, Radish and Scallion Salad so when a friend gave me a big bag of salad greens, I knew immediately that I had to make this dish.
If you’re curious about the difference between regular quinoa and the red stuff called for in this recipe, there is none as far as taste goes that I could tell. It does, however, look prettier and cost a good deal more than the other variety.
The salad itself was simple, just as salads are supposed to be. Dudette helped me by slicing the radishes and cucumbers and blending the vinaigrette ingredients together, which left me with the simple task of cooking the quinoa and cleaning the greens.
When it was all ready, we tossed everything together and the salad was done.
Hubby and Dudette weren’t fans and I really didn’t expect them to be. I made the salad for me. It’ll serve as my lunch over the next few days and I’m glad for that. Once I added a bit of salt and a splash more rice vinegar for brightness, I loved it. Since every ingredient makes me happy anyhow, that’s no surprise.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d add a half teaspoon of salt and increase the rice vinegar amount to 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons instead of 3) in the vinaigrette.
- 2-3/4 cups plus ⅓ cup lower-salt vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably reduced sodium
- 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- ½ cup canola or other neutral vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickled sushi ginger
- 1-1/2 cups quinoa, preferably red, well rinsed
- 1 medium English cucumber, sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-moons
- 10 oz. radishes, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
- 2 oz. hearty baby greens, such as arugula or kale, or a mix (about 2 packed cups)
- Put ⅓ cup of the broth and the miso, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a blender; blend to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the canola oil to make a creamy dressing. Add the ginger and pulse a couple of times to very finely chop. (Alternatively, very finely chop the ginger and whisk the ingredients together.)
- In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, bring the remaining 2-3/4 cups broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add the quinoa, cover, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Toss the quinoa, cucumber, radishes, and greens together. Add ¾ cup of the vinaigrette, toss, and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table. (Save the remaining vinaigrette for other salads; it will keep for at least 3 days in the refrigerator.)
I think the salad would be outstanding with a bunch of add-ins too, even though I didn’t mention it in the next time thingy. I was thinking that sliced celery and kernels of grilled corn would be yummy. The options are endless. But for now, I think I’m going to make sure the pool toys are put up. It’s clouded over and the wind’s picked up. I think the first band of rain is just about here.