A salad made of broccoli and quinoa does not sound like the sort of recipe that would elicit an emotional reaction. Dancing around the kitchen, closing your eyes in culinary ecstasy, and wildly proclaiming “mmmmmm” are just not the sort of behaviors one associates with this ingredients – I know. Throw in the word “salad,” and you have a recipe that sounds ho-hum, not HOLD ME BACK, I WANT MORE.
Yet, that is exactly what happened the moment I took a bite of this quinoa and broccoli salad with almonds. That is just not normal.
Then again, this salad, complete with crunchy almonds and a creamy lemon yogurt dressing, isn’t normal either. It’s exceptional. Audible yumming, kitchen happy dance, hallelujah exceptional.
Every element of this salad works together to create a dish with elevated and bewitching layers of flavor and texture. The quinoa is light and nutty, the broccoli is crisp, the almonds are toasty, and a heaping handful of fresh tarragon and parsley makes the salad taste animated and fresh. Toss the entire shebang in a creamy lemon yogurt dressing, and you have a healthy green meal that will have you dancing in your kitchen too.
The best part about it is that it tastes as good the day it is made as it does leftover. You can serve it at room temperature at a party or potluck or prep a big bowl over the weekend for healthy lunches and dinners all week long. If you’d like to add some extra protein beyond what is already in the quinoa, feel free to toss in some chickpeas or top it with grilled or shredded chicken.
Here is what you will need (for the dressing):
♥ 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
♥ 3 tablespoons of milk (you can use nonfat or any kind you’d like)
♥ 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
♥ 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest (about 1 medium sized lemon)
♥ 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
♥ 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
♥ 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Here is what you will need (for the salad):
♥ 2 small heads of broccoli – cut into bite size florets (about 6 cups)
♥ 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa
♥ 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
♥ 1 small shallot – finely chopped (about 1/3 of a cup)
♥ 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
♥ 1/4 cup of chopped tarragon
♥ 1/4 cup sliced or slivered toasted almonds
Here is what you will need to do:
♥ In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, milk, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
♥ Bring a large pot of water to a boil and at the same time, fill a large bowl of ice water. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender – about a minute. Leave the water in the pot.
♥ Transfer the broccoli to the ice water and then pat dry.
♥ Return the pot of water back to a boil and add the quinoa until cooked al dente – about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons dressing and the additional salt to flavor.
♥ Add the additional dressing, broccoli, shallots, parsley, tarragon and almonds. Toss to combine. Add any additional salt and pepper needed to taste.
♥♥ Dressing can be prepared up to 5 days in advance. Cover and chill until ready to use.
♥♥ Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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