Anyone else still dragging from a major sugar coma? All of us? Yep. (Every year, I buy candy I don’t like so I won’t eat it. Every year, I eat it anyway.) Let’s atone with a salad that tastes too good to be called a salad.
This green magic came together as I was looking for a non-salsa use for delicious tomatillos from a friend’s garden. Fresh tomatillos shine alongside avocado and quinoa, all tied together by salty-tangy cotija cheese – honest-to-goodness craveable salad.
This first came about as a last-minute throw-together dish to accompany steak. I wanted something on the lighter side, but with a little more heft than a regular salad. As soon as we tasted it I jumped up to write down everything I remembered putting in – and then made it again the next night because a) I was still craving it but b) definitely ate all the leftovers for lunch.
A dollop of sour cream on top really ties the flavors together with a nice tanginess – totally optional, definitely recommended.
It’s convenient if you have the time to make the quinoa earlier and let it cool on its own, even better if you happen to have leftover quinoa hanging around in your fridge. (I don’t think that’s ever happened in our house, but I don’t know your life.) If you make it at the last minute, as I always do, stir the cooked quinoa for a couple minutes off the heat to cool it down before adding the cheese.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 10 oz. tomatillos, husked & rinsed, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 t. coarse salt, more to taste
- (optional) sour cream for topping
- Combine quinoa and broth in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until quinoa is done, according to package directions.
- While quinoa is cooking, chop vegetables and combine in a large serving bowl. Add cotija, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Set the quinoa pot in ice water. Stir to reduce the temperature to warm before adding to the serving bowl.
- Toss everything together and serve at room temp with sour cream for topping.