The final touch? A spritz of lemon juice. Make sure yours is freshly squeezed. That stuff in the jar just doesn’t compare. Also, you’ll want to break out the extra-special extra-virgin olive oil. There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this salad, which means it is key to get the most flavor from every one.
Start to finish: 1 hour, 40 minutes (40 minutes active)
1 cup quinoa
11/4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
6 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 cups finely chopped cucumber (about 1/2 medium seedless cucumber)
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, shredded
Using a mesh strainer, rinse and drain the quinoa under cold water.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the quinoa, broth and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the broth is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. When done, the grains will appear soft and translucent, and the germ ring will be visible along the outside edge. Transfer to a shallow platter and spread evenly. Let it cool.
Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a colander or mesh strainer. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt, and set over the sink or a bowl and let drain for 10 minutes.
Once the quinoa has cooled, transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the drained tomatoes, the cucumber, scallions, garlic, remaining 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in the parsley and mint.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 130 calories from fat (52 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 6 g protein; 220 mg sodium.