Serious Eats: Recipes

Sack Lunch: Heidi Swanson's Lemon-Scented Quinoa Salad

Photograph taken by Heidi Swanson

Though I am always looking for new ways to eat quinoa, Heidi Swanson’s lemon-scented quinoa salad from 101 Cookbooks never loses its place in my rotation. It comes together in a flash, it’s healthy and boldly flavored, and it’s substantial without weighing you down. I’ve packed it up not just for work but for long plane trips, too, so far without any objection from the TSA. (I love Continental for trying to serve food, but their mysterious hamburgers and barbecue sandwiches are not for me.) Though lemon and cilantro play leading roles in my kitchen year round, that brightness is, I think, especially welcome in March, suitable for dreary days and balmy ones alike.

I can’t say this salad has ever lasted four days in my refrigerator, so I’m not really sure how it holds up. If you’re especially fastidious about cutting-edge freshness (I am not), you might want to prepare the components, keep them separately, and toss only just before eating. What I’d really like to chase this with is a sweet pink lady apple, but they’re too expensive for me. Maybe after such a healthy lunch, you deserve a brownie?

Click through for the recipe.

About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.

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