Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad

Although prettier in color and slightly nuttier in flavor, red quinoa has the same nutritional benefits as traditional cream-colored quinoa and should be used the same way. This grain salad is best served at room temperature and makes a lovely picnic lunch especially when paired with a sparkling or fruity white wine.

Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad i i
Susan Russo for NPR
Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad
Susan Russo for NPR

Makes 6 servings

1 cup dry red quinoa

2 cups water

Salad

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 cup sliced mixed olives such as black Kalamata and green Cerignola

1 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped, lightly toasted walnuts or pistachios

3 packed cups arugula

Dressing

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Add quinoa and water to a medium pot, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add chicken and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned all over. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, chicken, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, nuts and arugula and toss. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated. Serve at room temperature.

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