Ok, salad lovers. We’re guessing there are salad ingredients you’re getting a little tired of all the food blogs raving about. We know, the internet is busting at the seams with kale recipes. We’ll spare you from a kale recipe for now. Perhaps you feel the same about quinoa, every food blogger’s favorite alternative grain. Not another quinoa salad, you must be thinking. Our Quinoa Salad with Herbs and Radishes is different, we promise!
For one, this quinoa salad actually celebrates the unique flavor and texture of quinoa, which is nutty and slightly bitter when plain. (You can thank an enzyme called saponin for quinoa’s bitterness, which you can lessen by rinsing the quinoa or buying it pre-rinsed.) A lot of quinoa salad recipes incorporate lots of chopped vegetables, greens, beans, and heavy dressings and the quinoa ends up as an afterthought. This salad is all about the quinoa.
This salad also uses of a trio of fresh herbs, roughly chopped. We’re not talking about a sprinkle of thyme or a dash of oregano. We’re talking an entire half cup of chopped herbs. It is like taking a bite out of spring. We used parsley, oregano, and thyme but you can substitute sage, rosemary, basil, tarragon or any other fresh herb and you’ll be fine. Get creative and experiment with different combinations.
We find the easiest way to chop the herbs is to remove the leaves from the steps, gather all of the leaves into a big pile, and chop them together with a chef’s knife. They’re all going into the same salad, so mix them up. Inhale through your nose one or two times in between chops for some pre-salad aromatherapy.
Let us not forget the crunchy, spicy, radish. We know, some people don’t get radishes, but we love their crunch and slightly spicy, earthy flavor. Even if you don’t love radishes, you may find you like them in this salad as the slight bitterness of the quinoa and herbs gives the radishes a little more punch. And their fuchsia color really pops in this salad.
Finally, we made a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette because lemon and fresh herbs and there’s not much more to say. Meyer lemons are a bit less tart but have a unique almost floral citrus flavor. For kicks we added a bit of the lemon zest to the salad, and we were not sorry.
Light and fresh-tasting, this salad would pair beautifully with a tomato soup for lunch. In fact, we just thought of that and now we’re going to go warm up some soup to eat with this salad.
Go forth, make and eat this delicious Quinoa Salad with Herbs and Radishes!
Disclosure: The Salad Lobby earns a commission for purchases made through links in this article, at no extra cost to you.