I needed something to bring to the new neighbors’ open house and luckily I found my tomato plants had finally produced some delicious cherry tomatoes. I always have red onions on hand, and a bit of parsley growing, and I like to keep capers in my fridge door! A friend had given me a huge bunch of grapes from her home vineyard which she helped me de-stem. They are tiny, very sweet, and don’t have to be cut in half for the salad. I still had half a box of beautiful red quinoa (but regular could be used).
This salad has little bursts of sweetness from the grapes, a bit of juicy acidity from the tomatoes, lemon and vinegar, and onions, parsley, and capers add some flavor and punch. Think of it as an Andean tabbouleh….
1 c. red quinoa
2 c. water
Microwave quinoa and water in large glass heat-proof bowl for 6 minutes, let sit for 5 minutes, then microwave again for 2 minutes. Let sit, and check for doneness. Repeat if necessary, or add hot water if necessary before cooking a bit longer. Should still have texture but not be too crunchy. The beautiful thread-like designs should be showing in the little quinoa grains, which will expand to 3 to 4 times their uncooked size.
Mix the following into the cooling quinoa:
Mince 3 cloves garlic
Mince 2-3 scallions
Dice 1/2 red onion
Rinse 2-3 tbsp capers
Tiny Thomson seedless grapes – destemmed
Fresh grown cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Sliced radish, if available
Handful fresh Italian parsley, minced
Squeeze juice of a lemon, sprinkle red wine vinegar, and drizzle liberally with olive oil.
Salt generously with kosher salt, add fresh ground pepper
Mix all and let flavors meld.