Strawberry Feta Quinoa Salad

Strawberries are here! Strawberries are here! The local crop of berries is a bit early this year, thanks to the mild weather, so it's time to gobble up your share.

Strawberry desserts are all good and fine, but I also like to use them in savory dishes, like this super healthy quinoa salad. Quinoa is an excellent grain to use for a quick meal — it only takes about 20 minutes to cook and it's high in protein.

I love the way the salty feta and crunchy almonds play off the sweet berries. The basil gives it a fresh herbal kick. Enjoy.

Strawberry Feta Quinoa Salad
makes 4 servings

1 cup quinoa
3/4 cup strawberries, sliced
3/4 cup firm feta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup scallions, green parts sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or balsamic if you prefer)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa by placing it into a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, make a vinaigrette by combining the sherry vinegar, mustard and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, strawberries, feta and scallions. Add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle the basil leaves and almonds on top. Serve at room temperature or cold.

More strawberry recipes:
* Simple Strawberry Jam
* Strawberry Ginger Soda