Quinoa and Broccoli Salad (gf, v)

  • ½ cup dried quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 small or 1 large head of broccoli, stalk end trimmed (about 1 pound)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • garlic
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 1 cup) or feta
Nuts + Pantry
  • ⅓ cup salted, roasted almonds, chopped
  • toasted pepitas
  • 6 pitted dates (preferably not Medjool), chopped (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or minced serrano/jalapeno
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice or lime juice
  • dash of fish sauce

Make quinoa
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Make sure saucepan is at least half full. Add ½ cup quinoa and return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook at a gentle boil or lively simmer, uncovered 12–15 minutes, until you start to see the curly tail separate from the individual grains.
  2. Taste quinoa and make sure it’s tender. Drain quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and shake off as much excess water as possible. Turn off stove.
  3. Dump drained quinoa back into saucepan, return to stove, and cover, placing 2 layers of paper towels underneath lid. 
    • The paper towel is there to absorb liquid as quinoa continues to steam, making it fluffy instead of wet and soggy. Let sit on stove (burner turned off) while you assemble the rest of the salad.
Make broccoli
  1. Cut the stems of broccoli off, and shave them so they're tender. Slice into little small rounds
  2. Chop and roast the broccoli head till brown ish (can add minced garlic). Can also roast some of scallions too
Make salad
  1. Toast nuts: chopped almonds and pepitas, about 1/3 cup
  2. Make dressing: whisk lime/lemon juice, salt, garlic. Add 1/4 cup olive oil. I sometimes add a dash of fish sauce
  3. Toss in broccoli, 3 scallions, cheese (optional), 6 dates (optional), toasted almonds and pepitas, 1½ tsp. red pepper, and quinoa. Add several generous pinches of salt and toss to combine.