Black quinoa salad — Salade de quinoa noir

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Vitamin-boosted black quinoa salad with golden beets

Quinoa is, by far, one of my favorite grains*. I remember when we traveled to Peru a few years ago and we ate quinoa at almost every meal, in soups, salads, warm savory dishes and desserts. Quinoa was to Peruvians what rice is to Asians and pasta to Italians. I was already familiar with the grain before we arrived but our Peruvian trip inspired me to use the grain even more frequently than I did. I simply never grow tired of it. Quite on the contrary.

* Quinoa is, in fact, the seed of the Chenopodium (or Goosefoot) plant. It’s technically not really a grain, but considered like one as it’s cooked like many grains.

peru quinoa grain

Peru

So we eat quinoa quite regularly, perhaps twice a week, and I also love to use the flour made from the grain in many of my baked goods and tarts (simply check the cake section).

I was excited, in fact, the first day I also decided to prepare quinoa for Lulu. *So* happy because I knew I was sharing with her one of my favorite foods, giving her a food full of nutrients and flavor. And delighted to watch her eat and enjoy it, as much as her maman — and papa.

quinoa grain

To start, quinoa is extremely nutritious. It is full of protein, offers niacin, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Since it contains all eight essential amino acids, it is also considered a complete protein, very easy to digest. Quinoa is high in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains.

Most of you know that white quinoa is the most common variety. But red and black are also available despite that they are somewhat more challenging to find. But, if you are like me, you’ll easily go out of your way to put your hand on a box.

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Until recently, I had only cooked with the white and red varieties. Black quinoa was something new but really exciting. I loved its deep rich color, especially after the grain was cooked, and I was curious to find out whether I would notice any difference in taste.

I truly loved it. It was full of flavor, nutty and light. It paired wonderfully with seasonal ingredients I had purchased, lovely colorful baby beets and cherry and green zebra tomatoes. In fact, I liked it so much that I was inspired to try different types of salads.

I wanted salads boosted with vitamins. I wanted contrast of flavors, with sweet ingredients balancing savory ones. I wanted to taste the smoothness of an avocado next to something zesty and juicy like grapefruit and grapes. In one salad, I used pieces of crumbled French feta cheese and in the other, ricotta salata. I added fragrant herbs and made a vinaigrette with body, using honey-flavored French mustard, garlic and flavorful oils and vinegars. It was really fun to try different variants on the same idea. One salad had thin blanched haricots verts and sweet juicy cherry and zebra tomatoes, and in the other, I preferred to add baby beets and smoked salmon.

I learned that combinations are endless and experimenting with the grain always inspiring.

Black quinoa salad with ricotta salata and green zebra tomatoes

So you’ll see why it’s not difficult to make quinoa a favorite, especially when you’ll hear that it cooks extremely quickly (between 12 to 15 minutes, covered in boiling water, depending on the variety + allow 5 minutes to rest).

Use it in its most natural state to accompany roasted vegetables, fish or meat, or serve it with a simmered sauce. Saute it as you would rice, and add fresh herbs and spices (my next thing in line!) Or, just like here, prepare fun colorful salads to keep you happy and healthy, whether you eat in, at work or out on a picnic (lucky you!) at the beach. You’ll understand that quinoa is a great grain to keep handy for any type of dinner or lunch occasions.

Are you as hungry as I am?

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Vitamin-boosted black quinoa salad with golden beets
Vitamin-boosted black quinoa salad with golden beets

For 2 people

You need:

  • 2/3 cup black quinoa
  • 2 oz French feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 10 baby golden beets, cooked and peeled

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


Steps:

  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain. Add to a pot with twice the same amount of water (2 x 2/3 cup water). Add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Stop the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
  • To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the honey mustard with the white wine vinegar. Add the oil and emulsify with a fork. Season with pepper (note that I don’t add more salt here because there is some in the feta and smoked salmon, and the quinoa is already seasoned with salt from cooking).
  • Prepare the other ingredients: Use a small spoon to shape small balls of avocado. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
  • Peel the grapefruit and using a sharp knife, remove the white membranes of the grapefruit; cut it in slices.
  • Slice the beets in halves.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and dress with the vinaigrette.
Black quinoa salad with ricotta salata and green zebra tomatoes

For 2 people

You need:

  • 2/3 cup black quinoa
  • 2 oz ricotta salata, diced
  • 1 oz finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 green Zebra tomatoes
  • 3.5 oz haricots verts (French beans)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red grapes

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 garlic clove minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


Steps:

  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain. Add to a pot with twice the same amount of water (2 x 2/3 cup water). Add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Stop the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  • To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the garlic and honey mustard with the balsamic vinegar. Add the oil and emulsify with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the other ingredients: Cook the French beans for 5 minutes in salted boiling water. Rinse them under cold water; cut them in 2.5 inch-sticks and set aside.
  • Slice the cherry tomatoes and red grapes in halves and the Zebra tomatoes in quarters.
  • Combine all ingredients (quinoa, tomatoes, beans, avocado, ricotta, grapes, parmesan and herbs in the bowl and dress with the vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or fresh.
Le coin français
Salade de quinoa noir vitaminée avec betteraves jaunes

Pour 2 personnes

Ingrédients :

  • 100 g de quinoa noir
  • 60 g de feta, émiettée
  • 1 avocat
  • 1 pamplemousse, pelé à vif
  • 2 tranches de saumon fumé, coupées en dés
  • 1 càs de persil haché
  • 10 mini betteraves jaunes cuites et pelées

Pour la vinaigrette:

  • 1 càc de moutarde forte de Dijon au miel
  • 2 càs de vinaigre de vin blanc
  • 6 càs d’huile d’olive


Etapes :

  • Rinsez le quinoa sous de l’eau froide et égouttez-le. Ajoutez-le dans une casserole avec 2 fois son volume d’eau. Salez et portez à ébullition. Couvrez et faites cuire à feu doux pendant 15 minutes environ, jusqu’à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée. Arrête le feu et laisse reposer à couvert pendant 5 minutes. Aérez avec une fourchette et faites refroidir dans une grande jatte.
  • Pour préparez la vinaigrette, dans un petit bol, combinez la moutarde avec le vinaigre de vin blanc. Emulsionnez avec l’huile et assaisonnez de poivre (je ne sale pas car le quinoa est déjà assaisonné et la feta et le saumon apportent aussi du sel).
  • Préparez les autres ingrédients : utilisez un cuiller parisienne pour prélever de petites billes d’avocat. Citronnez-les pour évier qu’elles n’oxydent.
  • Coupez le pamplemousse en tranches, sans la peau blanche.
  • Coupez les betteraves en deux.
  • Combinez tous les ingrédients dans un grand saladier et assaisonnez avec la vinaigrette.
Salade de quinoa noir à la ricotta salata et aux tomates vertes zebra

Pour 2 personnes

Ingrédients :

  • 100 g de quinoa noir
  • 60 g ricotta salata, coupée en petits dés
  • 30 g de parmesan finement râpé
  • 1 avocat, coupé en dés
  • 2 tomates vertes zebra
  • 100 g de haricots verts fins
  • 1 càs de persil haché
  • 1 càs de coriandre hachée
  • 10 tomates cerises
  • 100 g de raisins rouges

Pour la vinaigrette:

  • 1 gousse d’aïl finement émincée
  • 1 càc de moutarde forte de Dijon au miel
  • 2 càs de vinaigre de vin blanc
  • 6 càs d’huile d’olive


Steps:

  • Rinsez le quinoa sous de l’eau froide et égouttez-le. Ajoutez-le dans une casserole avec 2 fois son volume d’eau. Salez et portez à ébullition. Couvrez et faites cuire à feu doux pendant 15 minutes environ, jusqu’à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée. Arrête le feu et laisse reposer à couvert pendant 5 minutes. Aérez avec une fourchette et faites refroidir dans une grande jatte.
  • Pour préparer la vinaigrette, dans un petit bol, combinez l’aïl avec la moutarde et le vinaigre balsamique. Emulsionnez avec l’huile. Asaisonnez de sel et de poivre.
  • Préparez les autres ingrédients: faites cuire les haricots verts dans de l’eau bouillante salée pendant 5 minutes. Rinsez-les sous de l’eau froide pour arrêter la cuisson. Coupez les en petits tronçons et mettez de côté.
  • Coupez les tomates cerisess et les raisins en deux, les tomates zebra en quartiers.
  • Combinez tous ingrédients dans un saladier (quinoa, tomatos, haricots verts, avocat, ricotta, raisin, parmesan and herbes et ajoutez la vinaigrette. Mélangez et servez à température ambiante ou bien frais.
Posted in Uncategorized | 59 Comments

59 comments

  1. I wasn’t as hungry as you until I saw your pictures and read that recipe. Now I’m freakin starving!

    I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for the black and red variety. If I get desperate enough, I’ll have to order it online!

  2. i have only cooked with white and red quinoa so far. now, i’ll have to be on the lookout for black.
    gorgeous photos, as always, béa…

  3. Thanks for the ideas for quinoa. I have seen it in several recipes but wasn’t sure exactly what it was or how to use it. Useful and inspiring post. Thanks. Also, the produce you find is absolutely gorgeous…do you have a favorite farmer’s market or grocery store? Do you grow any of your own veggies?

  4. Very dramatic colors in your photos. I really like these recipe ideas, always looking for more ideas with quinoa. I’ve used the red variety ground into a flour in your cinnamon tea cake recipe. Yum. It’s good for breakfast too, add some nuts, dried fruit, a dash of agave nectar. And Lulu’s culinary adventures continue, great to hear! Thanks for the trip to Peru, always love to see your beautiful photos.

  5. I will now hunt for black quinoa, which I didn’t know about until now. It’s always nice to have something new to look for.
    But one question: There is really something called “French feta cheese” in the USA? What is the difference with the original Greek cheese? Nowadays in Europe, feta is Greek and made in Greece, or is not feta.

  6. I love grains but I’ve never tasted quinoa before. Your pictures look so beautiful that I’m definitely going to try one of your recipes very soon! (and I’d also love to go to Peru but that will be a bit later…)

  7. Je ne connaissais pas la variété noire mais je vais la guetter sur les rayonnages maintenant. Merci.
    Les salades ont toutes l’air très appétissantes. Miam…

  8. Great recipes, great ideas! By the way, “ricotta insalata” doesn’t exist in Italy, ’cause this expression would mean “ricotta salad” or “ricotta lettuce” or something like this :) The appropriate term is “ricotta salata” that means “salty ricotta”, because it’s different from the fresh one and baked to take a smoked salty taste.
    Merci pour toutes tes recettes, même si certains ingrédient qu’on trouve aux Etats-Unis sont difficiles à trouver en Europe, j’aime beaucoup ta façon de créer des plats si savoureux et healthy!
    ilAria from Italy

  9. I make quinoa frequently, I just love the lightness and nutty flavor of it. These are great recipes to add to my quinoa salad recipe collection. The colors of the grains are so amazing. Lovely photos as usual.

  10. Oh Bea such a wonderful post! Love the photographs and how wonderful it is so be able to make something you hold dear for someone ou hold dear! Peru how colorful and the people well hearts as warm as the sun!

  11. Thank you for the exciting new quinoa recipes! I have a question about quinoa, though: I’ve read that you need to rinse it until the water runs clear. This takes a LOT of water! Do you find that this is really necessary?

    Mille fois merci!

  12. J’adore le quinoa! Toutes ses sortes d’ailleurs :) Merci pour ces recettes fraîches et inventives Béa!

  13. I’ve always love love loved your blog, but this is the first time I’m commenting. I’m wondering if you have any recipes for Lulu that you could share with us. Babies need to eat healthy, too! I’m interested in feeding my baby some interesting new things and I am now eager to feed her some quinoa after reading this post. My baby only has one tooth, so I’m curious what else you feed Lulu! I’d appreciate any suggestions.

    Congratulations!

  14. I’m also quite fond of quinoa. I absolutely love these salads, they are so full of different flavours and textures!

  15. I usually use quinoa for several recipes. But you know, here in Bs As (Argentina) we can only find the white one. But now I will ask for the red and the black one too. Thanks for the information. Beautiful, beautiful photos!

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  17. Le quinoa est un régulier chez nous et j’aime bien association avec les betteraves. Tes photos sont, comme toujours, magnifiques!

  18. Beautiful pictures. Again. I come for the food. I come for the photos…amazing. I feel blessed – lucky Lulu

  19. My best friend and I eat sooo much quiona, you wouldn’t believe it. For us, that’s a student staple food, quite unusual I must say. We ate it in so many ways, that now we’re considering of writing a quinoa cookbook! It is truly a great grain, and I was so excited to read your post, I am already in the search of the black variety! :)

  20. Lovely photos. I’ve only tried quinoa once I think. It is an interesting grain and we liked the flavor. However, the salad recipe I use it in was not good. To tell you the truth, I’d forgotten about quinoa until your post! I’ll have to try it again. Thanks!

  21. j’aime beaucoup le quinoa aussi, en taboulé, il a fait fureur cet été, la marque alter éco en propose aussi du rose je crois! ça éveille les papilles:)
    par contre, je ne connais pas la ricotta salata et les betteraves jaunes?

  22. Thank you for this quinoa recipe! When I lived in Ecuador, we ate quinoa almost every day. I haven’t had it since I moved back but I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  23. I love quinoa, but have never seen the black one, just the regular and red.

    I wonder if the taste is different – I cannot quite detect a difference between the read and the white. Will have to keep an eye for the black one….

    great post, as usual!

  24. hi bea, i also love my quinoa, we have it at least twice a day and the kids love it, too… bonus that it’s so healthy! i have never come across the black variety. it’s very difficult to get in the UK (from normal supermarkets, I mean) – one carries white only, the other only red… i will have a look for this black variety in the health food stores!
    your salad looks delicious, as always, and your pictures of peru really make me want to go back to south america so badly… ah! if only i had enough time and money ;-)

  25. What colorful and delicious salads! I also love quinoa, and it is one of the few complete vegetable proteins around, so it’s good for you, too. I also use it as a substitute for rice in some Indian dishes; as a couscous-like side to vegetable stews; and eat it as a side with stir-fries. I have tried red and white quinoa – where does one buy the black variety?

  26. I have been following your blog – and triying many things – for quite a while now… and I must say: you’ve got a fan! a big one, by the way!!!!! Thanks for such wonderful “nourishment and fun”, Ricardo (Vienna/austria)

  27. I’ve got a bag of red quinoa in my pantry right now. What a beautiful salad.

    I like to stir-fry it too, once it’s cold and leftover in the fridge with whatever other bits are in there.

  28. I love quinoa for its nutritional qualities as well as its versatility and ease of use. I’ve never tried black quinoa before but yours looks absolutely delicious! I hope your little one enjoyed it :)
    -kristen

  29. OOOooooh quinoa is so good but i have had trouble knowing what to put with it. However, these pictures and recipes have trully inspired me and i will be making them asap! I only have white quinoa at home but i will look out for red and black. maybe u can get them in health shops. thanks for the post! great pics!

  30. Thanks so much everyone. I bought mine at Whole Foods, but it surely can be purchased on line, if it’s not easily found. Also, to answer the question about where I buy my produce, it really depends. Farmer’s market, Whole Foods and other local vegetable stores. I love to spend time choosing ;-) and must be driving shop assistant crazy, at times.

    Then, the idea of the baby food recipes is really good. As a matter of fact, I had been thinking about it. I love to experiment with Lulu and try, already, to widen her palate to new taste. The key is not to keep the food blend, at least in my opinion. And so far, she seems to like it. So stay tuned for more info as it comes.

    Many thanks again for stopping by!

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  32. ooooo, will try the black quinoa soon! your photos are fabulous as usual

  33. J’adore le quinoa, mais je n’arrive pas à en faire manger à mes enfants.
    Comment prépares tu ces petits grains quand tu les donnes à Lulu ?

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  35. J’ai acheté du quinoa hier et je ne savais pas par où commencer. Voici deux bonnes idées pour me lancer dans la préparation de cette céréale (?). Parfait pour mes lunchs au bureau ! merci et j’en profite pour te féliciter pour ton site qui est dans nos favoris depuis bien longtemps…

  36. Ana Paula, pour le moment, je le mouds très fin et je le cuis comme je cuirais le quinoa entier. Après, j’ajoute du lait maternel (car Lulu est encore petite). Et si je lui donne au petit déjeuner, j’ajoute de la compote maison de pêches/pomme, qu’elle adore !

  37. This is my first post. I just love your site. I love the content of regional photos and the amazing food. Love quinoa. Am fortunate to have access to all varieties of qunioa near by. Your combinations… Yummy! You inspire me. Merci!

  38. They look wonderful!
    I only have red quinoa at home right now but I suppose the recipe can be adapted without problems… I’ll check out for black quinoa.

  39. I love quinoa, but have never tried the black or the red, so thanks for sharing this.

    Is that Pandora plastic flatware in your photos? It’s beautiful?

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  41. Quinoa is great for people who have a gluten intolerance. I’m a partner in MoreSouth organic mediterranean catering. We lived near the lebanese border for 10 years and I enjoyed tabouleh- mint, parsley and cracked bulghur. It’s just as great with quinoa.

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  43. Dear Bea, I have just stumbled on your wonderful blog. I am a caterer, based in London, and I was thinking tonight about a salad of grilled courgette, with shaved fennel and chargrilled artichoke and maybe some broad beans and feta and mint. I googled the ingredients and found myself with you. What a brilliant site. The recipes, the words and the gorgeous, gorgeous pictures. I will be a regular visitor from now on.

  44. Pingback: Black Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Basil, Feta and Pine Nuts | Healthy Green Kitchen

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