Kale & Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa & Lemming (I mean Lemon)

It’s happened. The only excuse I can offer is… it’s hot. Too hot to cook and I can’t think straight. I’m a little ashamed. But it’s so darn delicious, I just did it– consequences be damned. I’m talking about Kale & Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa & Lemon of course. More specifically I’m talking about quinoa. I made a quinoa salad. A QUINOA SALAD! Do I have pink ribbons in my hair?

Quinoa is one of the current darling children of the food blogosphere. I bet it’s even a healthy snack for kids. But my version (I hope) is a little more adult and very seasonally appropriate. Let me offer you an excuse, I mean defense for why I did this. First, like I said, quinoa is darn delicious. I eat it all the time. I just don’t eat it in public with ribbons in my hair. But it’s hot outside and I don’t want to be in the kitchen. Quinoa cooks in a blink of an eye. There’s no hanging over a hot stove involved. In fact you don’t even have to be in the room while it cooks. It’s that dependable. Paired with bright lemon, herbs and kale, it’s the perfect hot weather meal. It’s pretty on the plate too. Now I admit there are ribbons involved, but they come in the form of shaved summer squash. In manly tones of yellow & green.

Still, I realize this may be considered a lapse of judgment on my part. You see I was flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit, trying to generate a breeze on a hot afternoon. I came upon a quinoa salad quite similar to this one. I thought, why not make quinoa, and eat it proudly for all the world to see? I’m man enough, aren’t I?

There’s only 1 problem with this salad. It makes me a lemming. A quinoa lemming with yellow & green ribbons in his hair.

Quinoa salad with squash and kaleKale & Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa & Lemon serves 6 CLICK here for a printable recipe 

  • 1/2 c quinoa, rinsed & drained
  • 2 t kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 lb green and yellow summer squash
  • 2 T finely grated parmesan, plus more shavings as garnish
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T sherry vinegar
  • 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pn freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 c tuscan kale
  • 1/2 c flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 c toasted walnuts
  • 1 c fresh basil leaves
  • 6 lemon wedges

Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons salt and quinoa, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until tender but , 12–15 minutes. Drain well and return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover with lid and let sit for 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork and let cool.

Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to thinly slice squash, some lengthwise and some crosswise.

Whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Combine squash, quinoa, kale, parsley, walnuts, and basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and lemon wedges.

Adapted from Bon Appetit