Now that summer is just around the corner, we’ve got tons of fun picnic parties ideas on our minds! So we enlisted the help of Stephanie Le of I am a Food Blog to help come up with simple but great tasting recipes to make your next Summer picnic outing a success.
This salad has all the flavors of a classic Vietnamese salad: sweet, sour, fresh and absolutely delicious. Take this recipe as a jumping off point and add in extra ingredients as you please.
Read on for Stephanie’s recipe, and subscribe to Front + Main to make sure you don’t miss a post in her Summer Picnic party series.
“Quinoa salads are perfect on picnics – they travel well and if you have the foresight to prepare them the night before, they taste even better than the day of!” – Stephanie Le
Vietnamese Quinoa Salad
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 ¼ cups water or chicken stock
1 small cucumber, diced
1 carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
10-12 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups shredded lettuce of choice
salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
sriracha, to taste
1. Lightly toast your rinsed, drained quinoa in a non-stick pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the water or chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, transfer to a large bow, fluff and let cool.
2. While the quinoa is cooking/cooling, make the dressing. Mince the garlic clove as finely as possible. Alternatively, crush it with a motar and pestle. Whisk together the garlic, sugar, lime juice, water and fish sauce until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add sriracha if desired. Set aside in the fridge.
3. Once the quinoa is cool, add the cucumber, carrot, green onion, cilantro, mint leaves, and shredded lettuce. Add the dressing and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
NOTE: This recipe can easily be vegan-ized. Just switch out the fish sauce for a tablespoon of soy sauce and make sure you cook the quinoa in water or vegetable broth.
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Stephanie Le blogs at I am a Food Blog, where she cooks and photographs up a storm. She recently won Saveur Magazine’s Editors’ Choice for Best Cooking Blog and her first cookbook, Easy Gourmet (available for preorder here), will be released in September. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.