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Quinoa Arugula Summer Salad

Move over potato and mac salads. Quinoa is stepping in. I shared this salad with my neighbors, and soon thereafter a call came in: “We want the recipe!” My orange bitters-laced dressing gives an appealing flavor twist to this refreshing and healthy salad. Cook the quinoa a day or so in advance, and make the dressing in advance too if you want. For a main dish salad, top each serving with sliced cooked chicken.

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Quinoa Arugula Summer Salad

Makes 4 – 6 servings   Prep time about 20 minutes (not including quinoa cook and cool time)

3 to 4   cups cooked quinoa, chilled

1/3      cup seasoned rice vinegar
2         Tbsp. safflower or canola oil
1          tsp. Angostura orange bitters
1/2       tsp. each salt and fresh-ground pepper

1/3       cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3       cup chopped basil
3          Tbsp. chopped mint
2          Tbsp. sliced green onion
2          cups halved cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or both)
4          generous cups baby arugula

Cook quinoa ahead of time. Let cool, uncovered, then chill until ready to make salad. One (1) cup uncooked quinoa yields 3-4 cups cooked.

Stir together seasoned rice vinegar, safflower oil, Angostura orange bitters, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, feta, basil, mint and green onion. Add tomatoes and arugula. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with additional seasoned rice vinegar to taste, if desired.

Kitchen Notes
– Cook quinoa a day or two ahead and keep refrigerated.

– Salad may be made well in advance, adding arugula an hour or two before serving. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 

Nutrition information per serving (6): 246 calories, 7.6g protein, 34.1g carb, 9.1g fat (1.9g sat fat), 7mg chol, 750mg sodium, 4.4g fiber


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  1. Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Rita — Feta, basil and mint are one of my very favorite flavor combos. The bitters dressing is wonderful and so simple. I added it to diced grilled chicken with red bell pepper, cucumber and grilled fennel – one of the best chicken salads I’ve had!

    • Posted June 8, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, that’s a tasty trio. Did you use orange bitters or aromatic bitters in the dressing?

      • Posted June 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Rita – I used orange bitters as you recommended. Great idea! I’ve never tried bitters in salad dressing. I liked the subtle flavor, just enough to jazz up the rice vinegar which I often use in salad dressings.

        • Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          OK! You mentioned bitters in your Manhattan, so I thought you used aromatic bitters.