Italian Black Quinoa Spring Vegetable Salad

I often get asked how to prepare quinoa. It is simple to prepare, and there are so many different ways to enjoy it!  Of course, it is used in salads much of the time, but many people never venture outside of the white quinoa realm.  The other varieties are delicious: black or red, even a mixture (tricolor). I bought some of the black recently. It is a little different in texture than the white and beautiful in salads. In case you didn’t know, quinoa is loaded with protein, perfect for trying to get away from pasta. This salad uses some of my favorite spring veggies, and it is wonderful as a side or even a main dish.

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed about 15 minutes, or when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated. Drain, and let cool.

When quinoa is cool, combine in a bowl with radishes, carrots, scallions, garlic, pine nuts, and basil. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together, and pour over salad. Toss well to coat, and let sit for a few hours in the fridge for the flavors to combine, then serve!

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Heart Healthy
  • Paleo
  • Salad
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Entree
  • Salad
  • Side Dish

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy