Market salad of the week: Quinoa, corn, cilantro and black beans

Southwest quinoa salad

On a Sunday afternoon, I enjoy few things more than coming up with some new salad using the stuff from the farmer’s market. This week’s haul included yellow sweet corn, peppers and a great-looking bunch of cilantro. The result is a take on the familiar corn-and-black bean side dish, kicked up with lime, cumin and massive quantities of cilantro. It would work with any grain instead of the quinoa, like bulgar, brown rice or couscous.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Cilantro and Avocado

1 cup dry quinoa (or other grain)

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 diced red onion (you could also use green onion)

2 cups fresh corn (no need to cook it)

1 red pepper, diced

A lot of chopped cilantro (I used two cups, loosely packed)

1 avocado, ripe but not mushy, diced

For the dressing:

Juice of 2 large or 3 small limes (lemons would work too)

2 tsp. cumin

3 Tbls. olive oil (or grapeseed or whatever)

Salt/pepper to taste


In a saucepan, combine dry quinoa and three cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for around 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (If you use  a different grain, just cook according to instructions and cool.)

Combine diced onion, red pepper, cilantro and corn. Stir in the cooled quinoa. In a small jar or covered plastic bowl, combine dressing ingredients; cover and shake until emulsified. Pour over other ingredients and mix.

Top with the chopped avocado. You could also add some diced tomato or minced jalapeno if you want to. Serves four as a main dish.

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