Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well (optional white quinoa)
2 cups water, optional vegetable broth
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard (I used Whole Grain Country Dijon)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cucumber, chopped (optional, use a zucchini for the cool weather method...see below for instructions)
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn, (recipes for oven-roasted corn and grilled corn) see tip below.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Note: I like to cook the quinoa the day before and refrigerate so that it's already cold and prep time is lessened.
Vinaigrette - In a medium bowl whisk together mustard, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
Tip: I highly recommend roasted corn for this recipe as it adds just the right amount of sweetness. For the cool weather method, use frozen kernel corn, allow to thaw and drain off any water before adding to the roasting pan. See below for the cool weather method.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cucumber, corn, tomatoes, onion, and parsley, and cooled quinoa. Add Vinaigrette to mixture and toss gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
Roasted Vegetable Method for Cool Weather Months:
While quinoa is cooking, add zucchini and onions to a medium mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and toss to coat. Place zucchini and onions on a 13x9x2" non-stick baking sheet or roasting pan. Spread the vegetables so they are not touching.
Next, add tomatoes and corn to the same mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons vinaigrette, toss gently to coat, set aside.
Roast zucchini and onions, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir vegetables and add tomatoes and corn. Continuing roasting until tomatoes collapse, about 10 minutes. Remove vegetables and set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, add quinoa, remaining Vinaigrette, parsley, and additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, simmer 2 minutes. Add roasted vegetables to quinoa, toss to combine and cook an additional 2 minutes.