Springtime Strawberry Quinoa Salad

This salad is open to interpretation; feel free to swap the greens, berries,veggies,and seeds to your preference. Serve at room temperature or cold, as a light lunch or alongside your favourite dinner dishes.

spring quinoa salad

Springtime Quinoa Salad

1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup diced cucumber
3 tablespoons hemp seeds (double check for gluten-free status)
1 green onion, finely chopped (just the green part)
Argula, for serving

Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the water in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then add the quinoa. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 13 to 16 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and remove the lid. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

Put the quinoa in a bowl with the strawberries, cucumber, hemp seeds, and green onion. Toss to mix.

To make the dressing, put the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, minced garlic, lemon zest, and a  sprinkle of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture. Stir to mix, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Serve over arugula.

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

They’re perfect for cobblers, ideal for eating out of hand, and taste great on the grill, but thinking outside the culinary box lets golden plums shine in a savory salad featuring local, seasonal ingredients.

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula 1

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

For the salad ingredients:
2 pounds (908g) fingerling potatoes, any colour
2 tablespoons (30mL) good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (120mL) fresh savory, lightly packed and chopped
1 1/2 pounds (681g) shiro plums, cut into quarters
1/2 cup (120mL) chopped pecans, toasted
4 ounces (113g) arugula

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons (45mL) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30mL) cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (3mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60mL) good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the potatoes in half length-wise—if they are large, cut them in half width-wise, as well. Toss with the olive oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about 2 tablespoons of the savory. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, under crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Set aside to cool.

Once the potatoes have come to room temperature, put them in a large bowl. Add the remaining savory, the plums, pecans, and arugula. Toss to combine.

To make the dressing, put the maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard in a small container. Whisk well to combine. Add the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on the salad, using as much or little as desired. Let stand about 1 hour. Enjoy at room temperature.

Fingerling, Plum, and Arugula 2

Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta

Spring peas add a touch of sweetness to this quick pasta salad. The red pepper flakes add a bit of a kick, which complements the fresh mint.

pea pasta salad mint arugula

Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta

1/2 pound (227g/8oz) gluten-free elbow pasta (I prefer Tinkyada)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, halved and sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen spring peas
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 cups lightly packed arugula
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint, finely chopped
Fine sea or Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon to taste, optional

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and red pepper flakes. Cook until the peas are soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, scrape the mixture into a bowl, and add the pasta. Mix well. Cool completely.

Once the mixture is cool, add the arugula and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice, if desired.