Gluten free, vegan, kosher
When peaches hit the summer market in CT there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. I love everything about them: their seductive fruity fragrance, their juicy sunny flesh and most of all, their versatility.
In this easy quinoa salad, peaches lean more savory than sweet, making this the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken. But remember that quinoa is a complete protein on its own so feel free to make this the whole meal and be done. I’m already dreaming about this salad for breakfast with some luscious creamy goat cheese or salty feta.
2 cups quinoa, raw
2 ripe peaches, chopped
½ cup unsalted pistachios, shelled and chopped
3 green onions, washed, patted dry and chopped
1-2 Tb. dried mint or fresh mint, chopped
4 Tb. good olive oil
½ c. peach juice (or orange juice)
4 Tb. lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tb. maple syrup
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Ground pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool completely by spreading it out on a cookie sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, peaches, pistachios, green onions and mint. Toss gently, taking care not to rough up the peaches.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and taste. Add more lime if you prefer more citrus, adjust salt and pepper.
Gently toss assembled salad with dressing. Your hands are the best tool for this.
Chill and serve any time over the next 3 days.
Note: This recipe is meant to be as spontaneous and easy as a summer eve. Substitutions are only limited by what you have in your cupboard or what you score at the market. Consider these switch in’s:
Instead of peaches use fresh cherries, nectarines, grapes or apples in autumn.
Sub wild rice, brown rice or orzo for the quinoa or mix any of these with quinoa in 50/50 ratio.
Sub red onions or shallots for the scallions.
Add black beans, frozen peas, leftover chicken or salmon to the mix.
Add dried cherries or chopped apricots.
Exchange chopped almonds, or any nut you love, for the pistachios.