Quinoa Broccoli Salad
Last night was so much fun! After much anticipation, I finally co-hosted a swishing party (I have been hoping to do this for a while now). For those of you who do not know about swishing, basically it is a great way to get a bunch of friends together and swap clothing. It was great! My roommate and I invited friends, and friends of friends. We set up tables for different categories of clothing, and had swishing happening in 2 different rooms.
We weren’t sure how it would go to just make it a “free-for-all”, but it was perfect. There was a great mix of women of ages and styles and it seemed like everyone was excited with what they were getting…and seeing other women enjoying the items they were getting rid of. The best part, was that even after every did a few rounds of swishing there was still a ton of clothing to donate to the local Women’s shelter in town.
Once everyone was feeling satisfied with their “swishes” we gathered in the living room to enjoy our potluck goodies. I had prepared my Pumpkin Tangerine Spice Cake, and this new dish: Quinoa Broccoli Salad.
I love quinoa, and intend to cook more frequently with it now that I am back in the rhythm with it. This salad is a great mix of delicious veggies, fresh herbs and the nutty crunch of quinoa. It was well received at the party, and I am still enjoying it the day after too!
Quinoa Broccoli Salad
1 1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
3 c water
1 medium head of broccoli
10 medium white mushrooms
1 can pitted black olives (halved)
4 cloves garlic
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
7 large leaves fresh mint, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F
Chop broccoli heads into bite-size pieces. Peel the stalk of the broccoli to get the thick skin off and reveal the tender inside. Chop the stalk into bite size pieces as well.
Peel 2 of the garlic cloves and cut them in half.
In a medium mixing bowl toss broccoli, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Coat with 2 T olive oil. Spread onto a roasting pan and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the 2 remaining garlic cloves and chop the mushrooms. Sautee the garlic in a medium sautee pan until slightly golden and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the mushrooms covered, tossing occasionally until the mushrooms are completely moist and cooked through. About 10-15 minutes.
Once you have thoroughly rinsed the quinoa, add it to a medium sauce pan with 3 cups of water and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. (You do not need to stir while it is cooking.) Test the quinoa by tasting a little. If it is too crunchy, return it to cook for a few more minutes. If there is still water in the pot but the quinoa is done, you can strain it through a fine colander.
Once the broccoli is done, combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl and season as needed with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Note: if you are not serving this right away, I suggest keeping the cooked quinoa separate until you serve. This salad is delicious both cold and warm.