Spicy Quinoa Salad with Pepitas and Fresh Herbs

I have an issue with having to come indoors to prepare meals in the summertime. 

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time , you already know that! The garden takes precedence over all other activity including eating. The only thing that saves us is my body not being as cooperative as it once was. I no longer ignore the rigor mortis I suffer after having spent too long bent over pulling weeds. Summer salads are my god send. I can prepare them in advance and have lunch or dinner on the table lickety-split! Adding grain to a salad or allowing the grain to be the star ensures a more substantial meal. Ralph’s not a happy boy if he see’s a plate of greens staring up at him hoping to look filling! Our herb garden is busting at the seams with lovely cilantro, radishes and chives so I decided to add pepitas my new favorite seed some black beans, a hot pepper and other salady things to a pot of quinoa and the result was delicious. It’s a good size salad so if there’s any left over, wrap it up and refrigerate up to five days. It’s just as good cold as it is warm.

Spicy Quinoa Salad with Pepitas and Fresh Herbs
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinse well
1/2 cup pepitas (raw green pumpkin seeds)
½ cup fresh cilantro, leaves only
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red hot chili pepper, seeded, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime juice
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
5 chive spears, snipped
2 radish, thinly sliced
19 ounce can black beans, well rinsed

In a small pot, bring water to boil over high heat then add quinoa.
Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Fluff with a fork. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes to finish steaming.

While quinoa is cooking, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast pepitas, shaking pan until they begin to brown and become fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, squeeze the lime then add garlic, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Add remaining ingredients and toss well.
Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

THE LOVE: Don’t skip rinsing the quinoa!

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one year ago: peach tart with peach ice cream

two years ago: potato gnocchi with browned butter and crispy sage leaves

 

Thanks for reading.

  • This looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to buy some pepitas for awhile (for granola, bread, and now THIS recipe!) but I haven’t been able to find them anywhere. Where did you buy yours?

    • I found them at the Bulk Barn.

    • They might just be called pumpkin seeds. Pepitas sounds fancier though. I have bought them in the bulk section of various supermarkets and natural grocers.

      • The difference is that they are raw which is why they are green.

  • those tiny radishes are something special!

    • I love them! This is my first year growing them – so far so easy…

  • OMG. I think I just died and went to quinoa heaven – I can tell just by reading the ingredients that this is going to become a firm favourite! I can’t wait to make this!!!