A good salad dominates the dinner conversation. When it doubles as a vegetarian main course, that’s even better.
That was the case last week with this Kale, Quinoa, Feta, Avocado, Cucumber and tomato creation that we enjoyed at my sister’s house in Iowa. As soon as we got back to Austin, I had to have it again, and made the mistake of steaming the kale for too long. It’s a whole different thing when the leaves all clump together without any of the that robust kaleness that we have learned to love. So rule No. 1: Only steam the kale leaves for a split second — just long enough for the green to become deeper.
Otherwise, this salad is a sure hit. First time around, we had discussion about whether or not to go with the quinoa once all of the other ingredients were tossed together. It seemed perfect already without tossing in a grain when a grain did not seem necessary. We took the leap of faith. Turns out, it was a good leap.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and torn into small pieces
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Rinse quinoa and add to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed — about 15 minutes. Stir and set aside to cool.
- Using a steamer or a metal colander, steam kale for 45 seconds. Remove from the steam and allow to cool.
- Transfer kale to a large salad bowl and top with avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and quinoa.
- Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and toss.