Double Quinoa Salad

June 23, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Scottsdale to learn about Thermador and the amazing range they are unveiling in August.  I expected, with about 20 food bloggers coming, that they would feed us well.  And then I remembered the lunch I was served at BlogHer Food a couple of years ago.  If you were reading this or any blog around that time, you might recall that lunch was a three course meal put together by Bertolli’s Pasta.  Yes, they served food bloggers frozen pasta.  So, while I hoped Thermador would have planned a bit better, I was cautious.

It turns out there was no need for worry.  Our dinners out and the breakfast and lunch they served us on site were nothing short of amazing.  In addition to incredibly delicious and well-prepared food, there was plenty on hand for the two vegetarians in the group and also for our vegan.  I was very impressed.

One of the salads that the group prepared for lunch starred perfectly plump edamame and red quinoa, things that I would never have put together.  I took some on my plate with about 10 other things and truly enjoyed each thing I tasted.  I came home with that salad in my head and determined to recreate it.  But, seeing as I only had a few bites, I had to rely on my insufficient memory which put pine nuts in there as well as feta cheese.  (It seems neither of which were in the original.)  I found fresh fava beans in my market so opted to use those instead of edamame and I also decided to make the salad more focussed around the quinoa than the beans.  I also put in very little in the way of the dressing and added tomatoes for color and acid.

The result?  Basically nothing like what I had in Scottsdale but incredibly tasty.  Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to create something delicious.

One Year Ago: Flo’s Chocolate Snaps
Two Years Ago: Feta Radish Spread
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Dulce de Leche Bars

Quinoa Salad with Fava Beans, Pine Nuts, and Feta Cheese
Dana Treat Original
Serves 6-8 as a side

I always toast my pine nuts in the toaster oven.  Regardless of how you do it, you will need to watch them very carefully because they burn in an instant.

1 pound fava beans
½ cup black quinoa
½ cup white quinoa
2 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbps. fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
6 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Using a paring knife, split open the fava bean pods and extract the beans.  Discard the pods.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the fava beans.  Boil for 2 minutes, then drain.  When cool enough to handle, pop open the skin and take out the bright green bean.  Place in a large bowl.

Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add both of the quinoas, give a quick stir, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes, then check the pan.  If there is still liquid in the pan, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then add to the bowl with the fava beans.

Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, and mint along with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Gently stir in the pine nuts and the feta cheese, followed by the tomatoes.  Mix just to combine.  Adjust the seasoning by adding more olive oil, lemon juice, salt or pepper to taste.

(Will keep for at least 3 days, covered in the refrigerator.  The mint will lose its color but the flavor will improve.)


  1. I’m quite impressed with Thermador as well! The food at BlogHer was subpar the year I went also, and it was kind of depressing. This salad sounds de-licious! And just goes to show that whipping up a tasty healthy veggie-ful salad really isn’t that hard after all…you could pretty much mix and match in most veggies and still come out with something edible!

    Comment by Joanne — June 24, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  2. We are both quinoa girls today.

    Comment by stacey snacks — June 24, 2011 @ 2:16 am

  3. I’m addicted to quinoa and this looks AMAZING… except I really hate mint. Do you think basil would work equally well? Or something else?

    Comment by Jennifer — June 24, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  4. Gorgeous food shots, Dana!

    Comment by Clara — June 24, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  5. i’m on a crazy quinoa kick and love every single ingredient of your salad. this will be on my must-make list! hope you’re soaking up the long evenings up there! xo.

    Comment by G. — June 24, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  6. This is my favorite kind of summer food. It looks like a dish I might find in Plenty which I’m spending a lot of time with lately! The favas and feta sound great here.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — June 25, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  7. I just made this for my family yesterday and they loved it. Thank you. Reminds me of the quinoa salad you made for the summer yoga retreat last year.

    Comment by Grace — June 29, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

Leave a comment