I am not a happenstance quinoa eater. I know it is packed with protein and fiber so I try to work it into our diet, but I can’t say I dive into a bowl of steaming quinoa like I would say pasta, risotto, or really any other grain.
The only way I enjoy quinoa is cold in a refreshing salad with chunks of feta cheese, cubes of cucumber and a few briny olives, but in the winter time I’m usually searching for something to warm me up, not cool me down.
So I took the idea of quinoa tossed with a vinaigrette, but served it immediately while it was still warm turning a summer salad into a snowbound stand-by. Instead of crisp cucumbers and cheese to round things out I like the idea of heartier corn and a little bite from some freshly sliced scallion.
This is a very simple side dish that could easily complete a pan-seared pork chop or roasted chicken breast. You can make the vinaigrette ahead of time and then all that’s left is to boil some water, slice some scallions, and give yourself a pat on the back for making a truly delicious blizzard-worthy meal that you can feel good about eating.
Adapted from Just a Taste
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook until the granules have opened up and have turned into translucent little beads, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside. (Dressing can be made up to a day in advance.)
- Add corn to the quinoa during the last minute or two of cooking, then drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Add dressing and stir to combine. Fold in scallions and serve.