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.
Makes 6 servings
1 cup dry red quinoa
2 cups water
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
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.