A quinoa salad full of spring

Quinoa salad with peas, favas, feta mint and lemon

Quinoa salad with peas, favas, feta mint and lemon

I returned from Tuscany last Saturday night where I had spent ten amazing days teaching a food and lifestyle photography workshop.

My head jet-lagged and full of beautiful scenery. The rolling hills, the wildflowers everywhere, the faces, the food. I miss it.

I miss our students who enthusiastically joined us in every trip and every exercise.

I returned home to some beautiful handmade Mother’s Day presents that Jon and Miren had made for me while I was away. A birdhouse, a clay basket for my rings, drawings and paintings. And yesterday, we spent Mother’s Day at the farmer’s market where I procured so many vegetables for the week.

I plan to make this spring salad from my book full of quinoa, peas, favas, mint, lemon, feta, and a generous amount of olive oil. I have been craving salads loaded with texture and it seems it is what I eat most these days.

Oh and today I promised Miren we would make Emanuela’s mom’s chocolate and almond cake together. What an incredible woman she is. I cannot wait to tell you more about her and our time in Italy.

I will be back soon with more photos of our trip and the people we met.

Spring quinoa salad with peas, favas, lemon and feta

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups chicken stock or water
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
¾ cup English peas
¾ cup baby lima beans
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup watercress
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 15 minutes. The quinoa will absorb all the water. Transfer to a large bowl to cool, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring about 3 cups water and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil. Blanch the peas and lima beans in the water for about 1 minute. Drain the water and immediately submerge the peas and lima beans in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and keep their color.

Add the blanched peas, lima beans, and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the quinoa. Toss and serve at room temperature or chilled.

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63 Responses to “A quinoa salad full of spring”

  1. Mmmh! Your salad looks really springy and mouth-watering with its light green colours.
    Your food and lifestyle photography workshop sounds very interesting. Would like to have been a part of it. Have a nice week!

  2. I can not wait for you to update about that cake , it sounds stunning. I love the use greek inspired flavours for quinoa; it looks so light but yet filling.

  3. Rosa says:

    A delightful and beautiful salad!



  4. This totally screams Spring! Love this recipe!

  5. Eileen says:

    This is possibly the most beautiful salad ever! I love the idea of combining fresh spring herbs and veg with crunchy quinoa and tangy cheese. :)

  6. Tuscany sounds like a dream now, I’d love to go there. And your salad will be like a small part of it for me.

  7. sarah says:

    I’d love to hear more about your time in Tuscany. We are planning a trip there in the fall. I’m eager to learn more about the food and culture.

    I have made a few of your recipes and they were so delicious. I received your book as a gift and was so thrilled when I opened it.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. Adana says:

    Beautiful and inspiring (as always).

  9. How gorgeous! I love when a person can make a salad look sexy!

  10. Queridísima Aran,

    qué fantástico que hayas estado en la Toscana! Cuánto me alegro! Pues Italia es mi segundo hogar, y sé muy bien cómo se siente uno estando allá: en casa. Verdad? Tanto podría decirte de Italia… que no bastaría ningún espacio para contenerlo. Algún día te conoceré en persona, y entonces hablaremos.
    Imagino la dicha que traes, y comparto contigo esa hermosa plenitud.

    Con muchísimo cariño…


  11. Jo says:

    What a lovely spring salad! Such beautiful colours!

    I’ve been making and eating a lot of quinoa salads lately.. This recipe would definitely be inspiring my next one.

  12. Utterly delicious! I hope to get my hands on fresh favas soon. It’s so difficult to scour any, here in Orlando :D

  13. Tonya says:

    Aran, we miss you too!! I need to make that cake as well…although I might need your help with the recipe :)
    Big hugs!!

  14. They give us so envy trip to Toscana. We would have pointed with his eyes closed. In these following dates must be beautiful.

    Concerning the recipe has a wonderful pint! Fresh and spring. But whenever we tried quinoa salad has given us a taste a little bitter that we did not like much … happens to you?

    Greetings ‘spicy’

  15. Daniela says:

    Hola Aran,
    I can’t wait to see the photos and read about the wonderful time you all had together! Maybe one day I will be able to participate to one of your workshop…. Still dreaming….
    I miss Italy as you miss Spain ;) and every time I can read and learn positive things about it make me happy.
    I made your quinoa salad just last Sunday!I have your book and I have tasted many recipes till now. It is one of the books I can say I have tasted a lot.
    A presto y besos,

  16. Donna says:

    Beautiful..so inspiring. Going to buy ingredients today! Thank you for your lovely website.

  17. nessa says:

    I absolutely LOVE quinoa; I will have to try this recipe!

  18. Maura says:

    Are lima beans the same as lava beans?

  19. Mimmin says:

    I have just made this and it is really wonderful, light but full of flavour. Thanks so much for the recipe. xxx

  20. Aileen says:

    I just discovered your site and love the recipes. Quinoa is a favorite salad here. Looking forward to using is as a flour. I am trying to cook tasty gluten-free, dairy-free food for my family as some of us also have an intolerance. I am planning on visiting you at WS in Bellevue this Saturday in hopes of gaining a bit of your cooking knowledge. BTW, I am especially drawn to your cooking/writing because my family is also Basque…it brings back memories to hear your family stories.

  21. Noe says:

    This salad looks, as always, so yummy, elegant and earthy!

    Cannot wait to see your Tuscan posts… In the meantime, I must ask… Any chance of teaching in th UK?

    You have a following here!

  22. Christina says:

    Made this last night for dinner – needed something light and cool to counteract the 85+ unseasonably warm Colorado spring & this was perfect! Lovely recipe!

  23. Cris says:

    Hola Aran,
    antes de nada felicitarte por todo el trabajo que haces, me encaaaanta!!!!!!! Las recetas, las fotos, las historias que cuentas… Simplemente maravilloso.
    ¿Para cuándo el libro en castellano? Sería genial!!!!!! ;)
    Te deseo todo lo mejor.

  24. Lorne Marr says:

    I’ve never thought a salad can look this good! It’s incredible :)

  25. Seanna Lea says:

    Your salad looks wonderful. I have about 2 pounds of quinoa left from a 4 pound bag, so I’m always on the look out for new ways to make it into a tasty meal.

  26. Bee says:

    That salad looks so refreshing. So spring! Will have to bookmark the recipe for later. I love the green and white of the plate against the green and white of the salad. So pretty.

  27. Don’t have quinoa but I think this would be great with the farro I’ve been meaning to use!

  28. The salad looks delicious. I can not wait to make it. Thank you for the inspiration.

  29. Aran: What a gorgeous, full of texture salad. Me encanta!!! The weather is starting to change. I am looking forward to try some of the salads from your beautiful cookbook. I am glad that you had a great time in Tuscany and a happy Mother’s Day.

  30. Pure Ella says:

    What a beautiful burst of colour!
    xo Ella

  31. Theodore says:

    WOW, that looks and sounds just great. I love quinoa, so I just have to try this. Thanks

  32. If this is not the epitome of spring, I don’t know what is. I’m on a fava kick these days and think I have finally been convinced to try quinoa.

  33. […] bring inspired by simple yet beautiful images from meg smith’s serene life thinking this quinoa salad full of spring would make a delightful dinner next week listening to an NPR story on the trouble with daycares […]

  34. […] Two delicious recipes from Aran’s blog:  The Simplicity of Trifle | A Quinoa Salad Full of Spring. […]

  35. The spring salad looks amazing on that plate. Really makes the green pop.

  36. Sounds like an amazing month of May! I too spent Mother’s Day at a farmers market-it was a wonderful day. The salad is beautiful, a must make on my list, as I adore quinoa…and limas for that matter!

  37. Simona says:

    Ciao ho scoperto da poco il tuo blog, e ne sono rimasta incantata, bellissime le ricette e meravigliose le fotografie, abbiamo le stesse passioni, cibo e foto, posso chiederti quale obiettivo preferisci usare per le tue foto, sono così belle luminose…
    Un abbraccio Simona

  38. Connie says:

    This salad looks lovely. I love quinoa and this looks such a refreshing dish. I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. I like your plate too!

  39. […] We are on the healthy lifestyle wagoon- this quinoa spring salad was such a hit last week, and it kept well as light and healthy lunch […]

  40. Abby says:

    My (Celiac) husband is cooking his way through your cook book and I am feeling pretty lucky! This salad is on the menu for tomorrow. Yum. Thank you for being such an inspiration to him!

  41. Tillie says:

    I could get nutritional stats plz, calories etc per serving thanks

  42. Eileen says:

    I became acquainted with quinoa a little over a year ago, and since then cannot get enough of it. This is a beautiful salad!

  43. […] 1. Hooray for veggies: Quinoa salad with peas, favas, feta, mint and lemon. […]

  44. […] inspirerades av den här rätten och lagade något liknande av det jag hade hemma. Har börjat köpa majskyckling. Värt varenda […]

  45. Ani says:

    Thank you Aran for the beautiful idea of a healthy salad. I love kinoa. I will make it very soon.
    I watched the video of your book, it is fantastic, I really like you and what you are doing. Hope you visit my blog too. Best regards, Ani

  46. […] labor intensive, but maybe worth it… We just got in a huge bag of quinoa and this quinoa salad with peas, favas, and feta from Cannelle et Vanille looks like a good way to use some of it up Continuing the quinoa love, […]

  47. […] voor  2 personen als lunch: Afgeleid van dit recept. 150 gram quinoa, ongekookt ± 400 ml water of bouillon, zie tevens verpakking van quinoa […]

  48. […] We are on the healthy lifestyle wagoon- this quinoa spring salad was such a hit last week, and it kept well as light and healthy lunch […]

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