Broccoli and Quinoa Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine)
Good make-ahead side dish or vegetarian entrée.
Serves 6 as a side or 2-3 as an entree.
1/2 cup Alter Eco dried white or red quinoa, rinsed (ON SALE)
2 small or one large head of broccoli, stalk end trimmed (about 1 pound)
6 pitted dates, chopped
3 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
4 ounces (about 1 cup) Rumiano sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes (ON SALE)
1/3 cup diced roasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons or more fresh lemon juice
Salt—for boiling the quinoa and to season the dish
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 1/2 cup of quinoa and return to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook at a lively simmer, uncovered, 12-15 minutes. Taste quinoa to make sure it’s tender. Once tender, drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, shaking off as much excess water as possible. Dump the drained quinoa back into the saucepan and cover saucepan, placing two layers of paper towels underneath the lid.
Shave off thin layers of the broccoli florets with a knife, rotating the stalk, until you reach the thicker stems. Trim stems off the stalk and peel the stalk with a vegetable peeler until you reach the tender, light green interior. Chop stalk into ¼-inch cubes and add to the bowl.
Add the dates, scallions, cheese, almonds, and quinoa. Add several generous pinches of salt and the red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Add olive oil and lemon juice and toss again. Cover salad with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the salad. Let sit at least 30 minutes before serving (or transfer to an airtight container and chill for up to 3 days). Toss again, taste, and re-season with additional salt, red pepper flakes, and/or lemon juice if needed before serving.