A month ago I was enjoying lovely French breakfast radishes in a winter-to-spring salad. As the new season further unfolds, I'm now slicing these little jewels into a salad inspired by the classic combination — radishes, butter, and salt. I've also added delicate microgreens, tart lemon, and fresh basil for bright spring flavor.
I had never used microgreens before making this recipe, and debated for a while before buying them once I saw that the price was more than twice that of a bag of baby greens. I'm glad I tried them, though — they have a light, fresh flavor and are the perfect contrast to the nubbly quinoa. This said, if the cost is prohibitive to you as well, I think that baby greens would also be very good. Save the version with microgreens for a dinner party.
This salad came together so quickly and looks so pretty that I've now earmarked it as my go-to party dish. It's at its best if served the same day it's made, but the salad also keeps in the fridge remarkably well for a few days. Serve it as a side salad or add a poached egg or some leftover chicken or fish to make it into a full meal. A handful of toasted almonds and some crumbled goat cheese would also not be at all out of place.
- Emma, May 2015
Quinoa Salad with Spring Radishes and Greens
Serves 4 as a side salad (or 2 as a main dish)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons good, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups microgreens or baby greens, such as arugula
1/2 cup sliced radishes
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt
Transfer the quinoa to a fine-mesh strainer, rinse thoroughly with cool water, and drain. Place rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the butter. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer over very low heat and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
Remove the pan from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread the quinoa out on a dinner plate to cool completely.
Toss the cooled quinoa with all other ingredients. Taste and add more salt if desired. Serve by itself or on a bed of lettuce.
- Make this salad into a complete meal with a poached egg, chicken, or salmon. It would also be very good tossed with some toasted almonds and goat cheese or feta.