Red, White, & Blue Quinoa Berry Salad

Quinoa has an almost neutral flavor, so it just soaks up all the deliciousness of the easy honey-lime dressing, which complements the bright bursts of berries perfectly. I went with blueberries, strawberries, and red currants, but just about any fresh fruit combo will do wonderfully.

Red, White & Blue Quinoa Berry Salad | Kitchen Treaty

“Ain’t nobody got time for this,” I thought, as I painstakingly picked minuscule currant after currant from tiny dangling stems and plopped them, two by two, into a bowl.

I’m normally not one to include “ain’t” in my lexicon. In this case, though, it fit.  My wonderful CSA farmer snipped a glorious bunch of berry-laden stems and sneaked them in with my loot last Friday, and I needed to do something with them quick. No way were they going to waste.

My mind swirled with everything that needed to get done around the house. To my right a golden retriever incessantly gnawed on half a purple-striped paper straw (I can only assume the other half will appear … later). To my left, my toddler loitered beside me, holding out a random sticky piece of paper, uttering “bubbles, bubbles, bubbles” over and over again until I let her place it in my palm so that I could thank her profusely and make a production of throwing it in the trash. (Somewhere along the way, “garbage” has become “bubbles.”)

I returned to my plucking, and suddenly, it hit me. To have time to remove red currants from their precocious stems – it’s a gift. I thought about how fortunate I have been to be able to hit the brakes for awhile, step away from corporate life, and hang at home with my little one for this precious period of time. I thought about how, with both of my hands fussing over these tiny berries, I didn’t have the option of using this rare bit of downtime to fiddle with my iPhone or iPad or iWhatever, and I thought about how this gives my brain a little more room to think deeper thoughts. And I thought about how, sometimes, you just have to make the time to do stuff you don’t have time for, because really that’s the most important time of all.

Red, White & Blue Quinoa Berry Salad | Kitchen Treaty

And then after all my Deep Thoughts, I made a fruit salad. But just not any fruit salad – a quinoa fruit salad. A red, white, and blue quinoa salad, to be exact.

Red, White & Blue Quinoa Berry Salad | Kitchen Treaty

I’ve been crushing on Maria’s Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing since last summer. Well, I’ve been crushing on the idea. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d like a sweet salad made with quinoa – I’m so used to associating quinoa with savory dishes.

But you know, it really does lend itself perfectly to a sweeter treatment. Quinoa has an almost neutral flavor, so it just soaks up all the deliciousness of the easy honey-lime dressing, which complements the bright bursts of berries perfectly. I went with blueberries, strawberries, and red currants, but just about any combo of fresh fruit will do wonderfully.

Quinoa and berries together – what a seriously nutrient-packed dish. Plus, it’s satisfying and scrumptious. Totally worth the time it takes to put together – which, really, is hardly any time at all.

There’s absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go very slow. – Robert Frost

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Red, White, & Blue Quinoa Berry Salad

Quinoa gets the sweet treatment in this refreshing summer salad with strawberries, blueberries, and red currants.


Ingredients:

Dressing:



  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (from about 1 large lime)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 large juicy lime)

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped peppermint


Salad:



  • 2 cups cooked quinoa* (start with about 3/4 cup dried quinoa)

  • 2 cups blueberries

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced

  • 1/2 cup red currants


Directions:




  1. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, honey, and peppermint. Set aside.

  2. Place the quinoa, blueberries, strawberries, and red currants in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently. Serve.

  3. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days, but I think it's better when served right after assembling.




Inspired by and adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod


*For more on how to cook quinoa, this tutorial over at The Kitchn is very helpful.


// All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

 

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.