Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa Salad Recipe
This easy Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa Salad recipe is a nutritious and delicious side dish or even enjoy it as a lovely light entree.
When I was first introduced to quinoa years ago (pronounced keen-wah, not kwi-no-uh), I may or may not have pronounced it like the later, with a true full-on Southern drawl, in front of a kitchen full of professional chefs. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe people should name things that sound like they look.
Anyway, no matter how you pronounce it, quinoa is a good thing. I remember a few years back when quinoa became a hip trendy food (along with kale chips and bacon in everything) heralded by every popular food authority on earth. While most hip and trendy things fade, quinoa’s popularity has not. And for good reason. Quinoa is considered to be a “superfood,” a marketing term denoting a nutrient dense food beneficial to well-being. But it is also a super food in the taste and versatility department. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive, particularly since it is classified as a complete protein.
Not only is quinoa nutritionally beneficial, it’s quite easy to prepare. Once you learn how to cook it, you will be adding it to your regular repertoire. If you missed my How to Cook Quinoa article, pop over and check it out. You’ll learn a little bit more about this super nutritious and delicious food and, obviously, how to cook it.
Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa Salad is one of our favorite quinoa recipes. We make it often, especially when cucumbers and tomatoes are in season. It’s a crisp and light salad that is a perfect partner for many entrees. Or, eat it alone as the main dish for a light lunch or dinner.
Preparation for this Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa Salad recipe is simple. Cook the quinoa as directed in the recipe below, then toss with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and a simple, yet flavorful dressing made of fresh lime juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. From start to finish, this salad can be made in about 30-35 minutes. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days (if it lasts that long), which makes it an ideal dish for picnics or parties since you can make it ahead of time.
Whip up a big batch of this Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa Salad and let me know what you think. I think you’ll enjoy it very much. Happy cooking! And happy quinoa-ing!
Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced/grated
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa*
- olive oil
- 1 cup chicken broth** (vegetable broth may be substituted)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (about 10-12 ounces)
- 1/4 cup fresh rough chopped cilantro (parsley may be substituted)
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. Dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead, then kept covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Rinse quinoa in cold water in a fine mesh sieve. Shake out excess water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add just enough olive oil to coat bottom of skillet. Add drained quinoa and cook, stirring continually, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
- Add broth and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add toasted quinoa, salt and garlic powder. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Quinoa should be able to be fluffed with a fork. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. (If time allows let the quinoa cool a bit before combining the salad.)
- While quinoa is cooking, wash/rinse cucumbers and tomatoes. Slice cucumbers*** in half (or quarters) lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Slice. Cut tomatoes in half.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, sliced cucumbers, halved tomatoes, and chopped cilantro with dressing. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
* White, red or black quinoa may be used. If you’re new to quinoa, red and black tend to have a more earthy flavor than white. ** Vegetable broth may be substituted, or use all water and no broth. ***If you prefer, peel cucumbers first. Leave seeds if you like.