This quinoa salad is PERFECT for meal prep. It’s a complete protein, has plenty of veggies and will not leave you feeling drowsy by 3pm. It is such a feel good summery recipe that is great for working lunches and picnics alike. There are a lot of quinoa salad recipes out there, but this one is special because we utilize salt in order to build layers of flavor.
One of my most memorable experiences working in the kitchen at this super nice restaurant called Fire in Cleveland was prepping the sherry vinaigrette. It’s so classic, I had made it several times at the French culinary school I went to. But not like this. Doug Katz, the owner of the restaurant actually showed me this trick. He said the most important part of a salad is not the lettuce or the veggies, but the seasoning. What he does is salt the shallots and lets it sit for at least 2 minutes before adding anything else. The salt draws moisture out of the shallot, bringing out a super yummy oniony flavor that is no longer raw, but not quite cooked either. Little extra steps like this are what takes your cooking from good to special. In this recipe I am using red onion instead of shallot, but the same concept applies. I even use this trick when I am making guacamole!
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