Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quinoa, Spinach and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing

Summer is nearly here. It's just around the corner (or around the weekend...) and I can't wait to get the garden planted and fire up the grill for the first time. The baby vegetable plants and herbs are getting put in the ground today. Just a few months until we get jewel-bright tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for salads and snacking. Until then, I decided to make this salad with baby heirloom tomatoes we found at a little grocery near us. It has a big produce section, a deli and tons of bulk foods.
This recipe comes from Bon Appetit and I decided it would be the perfect dinner for myself before I went to the bookstore to work for the evening. I love the quinoa and garbanzos - they make this very filling and satisfying. The addition of mint and cucumber and tomato make it fresh and full of flavor. I have never made a smoked paprika dressing before, but I love this Spanish take on salad dressing. It has a Sherry vinegar base, with nothing more than extra-virgin olive oil and smoked paprika. It's simple, yet a perfect  pairing for the greens and vegetables. All the flavors get a chance to sing.

This salad holds up well for a few days; just toss in the dressing right before serving. Happy Memorial  Day weekend!

Quinoa, Garbanzo and Spinach Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing
Bon Appetit July 2010

1 1/2 c. quinoa (9-10oz.), rinsed, drained
4 c. packed baby spinach (I used some arugula as well - delicious!)
2 15oz. cans garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
1 3/4 c. 1/3" cubes unpeeled English cucumber
1 pt. multi-colored baby heirloom tomatoes, halved (2 1/2 c.)
1 c. packed fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 c. coarsely crumbled feta cheese, divided ( I recommend French feta, but Greek works, too.)
1/4 c. sherry wine vinegar
2 1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 c. olive oil

Place quinoa in large saucepan; add enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, 15-16 minutes. Drain. Chill until cool.
Meanwhile, combine spinach, garbanzos, cucumber, tomatoes and half of feta in a large mixing bowl.
add cooled quinoa and toss gently to combine.
Whisk vinegar and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle rest of feta over.

1 comment:

  1. I love salads and this one sounds delicious:) Thanks for the recipe. xoxo