Summer time calls for salads of all sorts. I love a big substantial salad, that can be the main part of your meal, packed with protein and different flavours. This Quinoa Super Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing does just that! The salad has a mix of different vegetables, plus nuts and seeds for that crunch and protein. Topped with fresh herbs and with a tangy addictive dresssing it has a real outdoor eating summer feel!
I love how with big hearty salads as you can get creative and use whatever vegetables you happen to love or, you can just use up whatever is left in the fridge. Which makes this is a great recipe for reducing waste. The veggies I used were broccoli, butternut squash and olives but why not swap in cooked courgette, some cherry tomatoes or even some sweet potato! A mix of colours makes it look great, and we all know the saying of eating the rainbow to stay healthy!
This salad is so substantial as quinoa has long lasting energy and lots of protein, plus the salad is packed full of vegetables, nuts and seeds. You could use it is a main part of your meal, or it would be great as a salad for your BBQ…. anyone remember our Vegan BBQ-able Burgers (ones that won’t fall apart on the BBQ)!? It also makes a delicious packed lunch. Take a bit of extra dressing with you to drizzle over at the last moment. Perfect for a sunny lunchtime break from work!
What gives the salad its perfect finish is the dressing. Don't skimp on the dressing ! There's nothing worse than a dry quinoa salad!
There are so many options for delicious dressings, but this one has become my go-to. It can also last in your fridge for over a week, so I use it on salad everyday, and it never disappoints. The tanginess from the lemon and apple cider vinegar is perfect with the mix of vegetables in the salad. I add garlic because, well, garlic just tastes amazing in anything, but leave it out if you want. I add tahini for that nutty taste, plus it has great fats and protein. Then the secret weapon to this dressing is mustard. Wholegrain mustard is my preferred option as the taste isn’t quite as strong as Dijon mustard and the wholegrains look so pretty. But it’s up to you.
If you want to go the extra mile both taste and health-wise with this salad, add some fermented vegetables like kimchi or sauerkraut. I can’t get enough kimchi made from cabbage, garlic, ginger and chilli, it lifts just about any dish. Fermented vegetables are great for your gut health too so are a winner all round. You can ferment your own vegetables, or buy fermented condiments such as kimchi or sauerkraut.
We're always on the lookout for small producers of fermented products & have become friends with Pao. She ferments all her delicious kimchi and krauts herself. They are completely unpasteurised, so contain maximum good bacteria, and they taste out of this world! Pao Pop’n’Pickles does lots of vegan products, and they wow us every time. She is a one woman show, making & selling her ferments in markets local to our East London homes.
We hope you love this recipe idea. And remember, while this is a great summer salad, it will translate beautifully into colder months too with winter vegetables, as will the dressing. Happy Summer!
Quinoa Super Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 250 g uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup Olives (destoned)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- ⅔ cup Sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups steamed broccoli, chopped
- 2 cups cooked butternut squash, chopped into cubes
- ½ cup Walnuts, chopped
- Handful radishes, chopped
- ½ cup Toasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds and pinenuts
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Handful fresh, chopped Parsley / coriander
- Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard or dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (other vinegar will also work) plus more if needed
- Extra water, if required (depends on how strong you want the dressing)
- Cook the quinoa as per the instructions. Put into a large serving dish or salad bowl.
- Add all other ingredients and mix in gently except the toasted seeds, smoked paprika and parsley.
- Top the mix by sprinkling the toasted seeds, smoked paprika and parsley on the top.
- Mix all ingredients together except the extra apple cider vinegar and the extra water.
- Depending on how thick / watery you like the dressing, and how much you like the sourness of vinegar, add some extra vinegar and / or water until it is your desired consistency.