Quinoa and Summer Squash Salad

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Serves 8


 ½ cup quinoa
 1 pound  zucchini, patty pan, and/or yellow summer squash
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
½ cup Italian parsley leaves
 ¼ cup basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
 2 tablespoons finely grated Cotija cheese
 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
 2 tablespoons lemon juice
 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
 ½ teaspoon salt
 Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  


 Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and liberally salt the water.  Add the rinsed quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.  Drain; return quinoa to the hot saucepan, off the heat.  Cover and let sit 15 more minutes.  Uncover, fluff with a fork, and let cool.

 Slice the summer squash into ¼--inch slices.  If they are large, cut them in half or quarters so they are bite-sized. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the red onion and zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Cool.

 Dressing:  In a medium bowl, whisk together the Cotija cheese, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

 In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, squash/onion mixture, Italian parsley and basil.  Drizzle dressing over and toss to coat.