Adapted from R.S.V.P. by Nan Kempner.
- Servings: 4.
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is a perfect protein. It also has a satisfying, mild, and nutty flavor that makes it the perfect center ingredient in this grain and vegetable salad that combines quinoa with prosciutto, just-cooked diced vegetables and juicy cherry tomatoes.
This salad is perfect as a summer lunch or as a side to a piece of seared tuna or baked chicken legs.
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed in cool water and drained)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely sliced scallions (both white and green parts)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped prosciutto
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup diced zucchini (choose small, tender ones with smaller seeds)
- 1 cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs -- choose from flat leaf parsley, basil, chives, or other favorites
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan that has a cover. Add a pinch of salt and the quinoa, stir, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the water is completely absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the cooked grains to a large serving bowl, fluffing the grains with a fork. Let it sit at room temperature to cool while you prepare the other ingredients. You can do this step in advance.
- In a large skillet place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and prosciutto and sauté for 5 minutes, until the scallions are slightly translucent and the pieces of prosciutto separate and become slightly firmer but not crispy. The paper-thin slices of prosciutto will stick together so shred them apart when you add to the pan.
- Add the diced red pepper and zucchini and cook an additional 5 minutes over medium heat until the pieces soften but don't let them get mushy.
- Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes before adding to the cooked quinoa.
- Stir in the tomatoes, herbs, and red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more vinegar if you want a brighter taste.
- Serve immediately at room temperature or refrigerate for a few hours until ready to serve but bring back to room temperature for its best flavor.