Toasted Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

I am a huge tomato snob. There’s nothing worse to me than pale orange, mealy, out-of-season tomatoes; the kind you see at Subway or Extreme Pita, or every grocery store between October-July. I try to avoid them as much as possible.

For tomato snobs like me, our time is now. In August and into September, tomatoes hit the farmers’ markets, and they are everything a tomato should be: bright red, juicy, fresh and delicious. I made dinner for my parents last weekend, and one of my sides was just a plate of thick tomato slices, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

You’ll never have a better BLT than you will right now. Your brushetta or salsa fresca will never be as tasty. If you ever had any inclination to make homemade pizza, now’s the time to pick up a big tomato, some fresh basil and a ball of mozzerella to make the best pizza margherita of your life.  I’ll be working my way through these dishes until the end of the month and I can’t wait!

Last month when I got home from my two-week work trip to the middle of nowhere, I was so excited to get back into the kitchen. I made this quinoa salad with a fresh tomato and corn from the farmer’s market down the street, and I even timed my avocado purchase correctly so it would ripen on the night I wanted to make this (this never happens!). It’s the kind of thing that just won’t taste as good any other time of year, and I’ll definitely be making it again before tomato season is over.

Toasted Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

Source: Ezra Pound Cake



1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil

1 cup fresh corn kernals, cut off 2 cobs

1 cup diced tomato

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 ripe avocado, diced

a few handfuls cilantro, finely chopped (you can leave it out if you hate it)


1 tsp cumin (original recipe used double this amount)

5 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1 tbsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper (I left this out)

1 garlic clove, grated

1 tsp coarse salt


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan that has a lid, over medium heat. Add quinoa and cook, stirring until quinoa is light golden brown, about ten minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups water to pan, stir, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, and cook, covered over medium-low heat until water is absorbed, about 18-20 minutes.
  3. Let stand, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until cool.
  4. While quinoa is cooling, whisk all dressing ingredients together.
  5. Add the quinoa to a big bowl, and gently stir in corn, tomato, green onion, avocado and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss lightly.
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3 Responses to Toasted Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

  1. nicD says:

    I’m so curious about the toasted quinoa! I usually boil it (or I hear putting it a rice-cooker is the new rage). Anyhow, how did it taste? Did you notice a crunchy or more flavourful quinoa?

    ps. you know my love for tomatoes, so……!

    • Byn says:

      toasting the quinoa gives it a little more flavour, not necessarily crunchy though, since you still boil it. let’s just say i made it a second time without toasting it, and it wasn’t as good!

  2. Hey Byn,
    From one Tomato Snob to another I totally know how you feel.
    This dish sounds delish! Going to use the idea for a recipe for next week.
    I’m thinking a toasted quinoa cake and the dressing as a dipping sauce.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

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