a summer quinoa recipe

With the summer weather here, I have been looking for a quinoa salad recipe not only to make at home but to bring to a cookout or al fresco dinner party.  I have a favorite/go-to Fall quinoa salad, and I really like this blackberry farro salad {I substitute quinoa for the farro}, but I was looking for a dairy free, herb rich option to capitalize on all of the fresh herbs that are currently in season.

After scouring recipes and trying out a few, I officially have a go to summer quinoa recipe that I wanted to share with you.  I’ve adapted it from my absolutely FAVORITE cookbook, Raw Food Real World.  I can tell you not a week goes by where I don’t use a recipe from this cookbook.

What’s amazing about this salad is that it is incredibly light & refreshing {lime juice, basil, mint & cilantro} yet crunchy {chopped cashews, celery and fresh grapes} and the ratio of quinoa to vegetables/fruit is about 50/50, so it’s not too grain heavy.

The recipe can be made “raw” which means, you would use sprouted quinoa instead of cooking the quinoa, it will work either way.  If you opt for the raw version with sprouted quinoa, you would simply soak quinoa in water overnight, and then drain and rinse it in a colander {a fine one of course given the size of the quinoa}.  You would let it sit in the colander and drain over a covered bowl for a few hours and then prepare it.  The benefit of sprouting quinoa is that it breaks down the complex proteins in the quinoa which makes it easier for digestion, so if you have the time it’s worth it – it just takes some advanced planning.  You can also make your life easier by purchasing sprouted quinoa and all you need to do is simply let it soak for 30-45 minutes which is what I’ve been doing.

Grape Quinoa Salad


1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup lime juice
zest of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup mirin {rice cooking wine}
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup halved red grapes {I used red for the color but you can use either}
3 stalks finely diced celery
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 handful coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 handful coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 handful coarsely chopped chives
1 thinly sliced scallion
1/4 chopped raw cashews
freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine lime juice, olive oil, mirin and sea salt in a bowl and mix.  Add quinoa and remaining ingredients, mix to combine.  Top with freshly ground black pepper.

You can use your judgement on herbs by using more or less herbs.  I have a heavy hand with herbs so I tend to include a large portion but based on your taste you can adjust and make one herb more dominant in the dish if you have a preference.

Bon appetit!

Photography by Emmanuelle.

About Emmanuelle

Event Planning & Public Relations in the Boston Area specializing in fashion, beauty, textiles & consumer goods.
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2 Responses to a summer quinoa recipe

  1. Christiane says:

    Beautiful pictures.
    Sounds delicious!!!

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