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Quinoa “Cobb” Salad

Complete with bacon, avocado and tomatoes, this isn’t the most traditional Cobb salad but certainly inspired by the same flavours. Perfect for a cook-out or potluck (it won’t get soggy, unlike salad), this whole grain dish is bursting with the tastes of summer – ripe tomatoes, fresh corn and basil.

Excellent served as a side dish with grilled chicken, but leftovers are a complete meal with protein-rich edamame beans.

Quinoa Cobb Salad

ingredients:quinoa cobb salad

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa*
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • ½ cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup thawed edamame
  • ¼ cup crumbled crispy bacon
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese*
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced


  1. In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and cumin; season to taste to salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Rinse quinoa in fine mesh sieve under cold water, allowing to drain well. Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling broth, uncovered, until almost tender, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  3. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve).
  4. Cover quinoa with a clean kitchen towel, then cover loosely with a lid and steam over medium heat until tender and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, another 5 minutes.
  5. Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in corn, tomatoes, green onions and edamame; check seasoning. Cover and chill the salad for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Before serving, allow salad to come to room temperature and gently mix in remaining ingredients.

**easy substitutions:

  • Barley is excellent as the grain-base of this salad. If using: pearled barley, cook for 30 minutes; pot or Scotch barley, increase cooking time to 60 minutes; hulled barley, soak overnight and reduce cooking time to 45 minutes.
  • If you are not crazy about blue cheese, feta or an aged white cheddar are great choices

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