Corn and Quinoa Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was a hit when Alison and I made up a giant batch of it to serve at the Taste of Sonoma event a few years ago. I first made this for a potluck picnic at church and no less than five people came up to me and said, “Did you by chance make that quinoa salad? It was de-LICOUS!” (when pondering what to name it, Sierra even recommended Really Yummy Pasta Salad). And here I was afraid the quinoa would freak people out. Truth is, there’s a lot to love about this salad: a healthy dose of whole grains in the form of quinoa and whole grain penne, a break from basil with chives and parsley, and a lip-smacking tart-sweet balance from the corn and lime juice combo. This pasta salad is a potluck winner, whether you're making it for a backyard barbecue or a high-end event. And, yep, you can make this pasta salad a day in advance — in fact it tastes even better when you do because the flavors have time to develop.

corn-quinoa-pasta-zucchini-salad

1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced cross-wise into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup squash or zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
4 ounces whole grain penne, cooked and drained
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted Nicoise olives, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine 1-1/2 cups water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking, pound the chives to a paste in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil and scoop into a small bowl. Whisk in lime juice, vinegar and garlic, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, corn, tomatoes, squash, pasta, parsley, olives and feta. Pour dressing over top and toss well to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Serves 6

 

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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

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