QUINOA: Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve in cold water for about 30 seconds. In a small saucepan, combine rinsed quinoa with 2 cups water. Season with salt (I add 1/2 tsp). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan with a lid. Turn heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the water has completely absorbed in the quinoa. Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5-10 minutes. After it's finished steaming, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In a hurry? Spread it on a sheet pan and slide it into the freezer for 15 minutes.
DRESSING: In a small mason jar, combine all the dressing ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper (we add 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt). Shake to combine and emulsify. Refrigerate while you finish the salad.
SALAD: Combine the cooked and cooled quinoa with the rest of the salad ingredients except the feta. Drizzle on dressing and toss everything together. Top with feta and gently mix through. Enjoy!
Note 1: Cooked quinoa: (Here's how to cook quinoa.) We love tri-colored quinoa-- and for a nice shortcut, you can use Microwaveable Packaged Quinoa. Microwaveable quinoa is already cooked and just needs to be heated.Note 2: Cucumber: We recommend Persian (sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers) or English cucumbers. These cucumbers are nearly seedless and very crisp (instead of watery) with a sweeter flavor.Note 3: Redonion: If you’re sensitive to the flavor of raw red onion, soak the diced onions in salted ice water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before adding.Note 4: Freshherbs: We love parsley and mint in this recipe, but you could use just one herb if preferred. Another nice option here is fresh basil.Note 5: Pistachios: Dry-roasted and salted is our favorite here -- tons more flavor without extra work on your end. If you are using raw nuts, we recommend roasting them first for better texture and flavor.Note 6: Feta: feel free to leave this out if you wish. Goat cheese is another really nice and flavorful option in this salad. If you want some vegan creaminess, consider adding a ripe diced avocado! Without the cheese, this recipe is vegan.