Leslie Cerier: Lemony Quinoa Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Lemony Quinoa Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Serves 6 to 8

With its bright, sprightly flavors, this is a wonderful springtime dish. But there’s nothing to say you can’t serve it with a green salad in summer or roasted vegetables in winter. To make the sunflower seeds more easily digestible, soak them overnight beforehand.

  3 3/4 cups water

  1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  2 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

  1 cup raw sunflower seeds, presoaked if you like

  3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the quinoa, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature.

            Meanwhile, toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are aromatic and start to pop. Add the sunflower seeds to the quinoa, along with the lemon juice and oil, and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.

 Variations

  • Quinoa with Herbs and Toasted Sunflower Seeds: Increase the amount of sunflower seeds to 1 1/4 cups. Omit the lemon juice and increase the amount of olive oil to 7 tablespoons. Add 1/2 cup of chopped marjoram or oregano leaves when you stir everything together. Taste and adjust the seasonings; you may want more salt.
  • Quinoa Tabouli: Add 1 cup of chopped parsley and 1 cup of chopped scallions when you stir everything together.
  • Swap pumpkin seeds for the sunflower seeds.
  • Forgo toasting the sunflower seeds; instead, add them to the saucepan when you add the quinoa.

Photo by Leslie Cerier. Reprinted with permission by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook by Leslie Cerier www.lesliecerier.com

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