Zesty Quinoa Edamame Salad

In the wintertime we are not great salad eaters, not only because the weather makes us crave something more warming, but also because of the sad state of the local veggie supply. Good root vegetables and tolerable cabbage are always available, but other than that it can get a bit grim. This salad isn’t exactly seasonal either, but it  still makes use of some fresh produce that travel well and are quite nice even in the midst of winter: cauliflower and citrus fruit.


We both really enjoyed this dish as a light Sunday lunch with a slice of bread. Well, for Heikki this was more of a breakfast really… The flavors are bright and clean, and a nice texture is provided by edamame and cauliflower. For a heartier salad, I would add a handful or two of toasted cashews, or maybe a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

The Marinated Cauliflower:

  • 200 g cauliflower, in small florets
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper

I mixed all the ingredients together and let them marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

For the Salad:

  • 1 and 1/2 dl quinoa, plus 2 and 1/2 dl water for cooking
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 dl edamame (frozen’s what we have)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced

This is how I usually cook the quinoa for nice and fluffy results: rinse the quinoa well, place the quinoa and the water in a small cooking pot, and cook on high heat until the water starts boiling. Then I reduce the heat to low and cook, tightly covered, until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa has steamed a bit, for about 20 minutes. This time I added two garlic cloves in the cooking water as well, and after the quinoa was done, removed them from the pot and saved for later use in the dressing.

The edamame we get is frozen, and I just cooked it in plenty of water for about 3 minutes, then rinsed with cold water to cool down.

After the quinoa and the edamame had cooled to room temperature I tossed them together with the onions in a salad bowl.

The Dressing:

  • 1/2 dl olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lime and 1/2 an orange
  • the two cooked garlic cloves from the quinoa
  • 1/2 dl chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • plenty of freshly ground black pepper

I mixed everything except salt and pepper together in our mini food processor until smooth and light green. Then I seasoned the dressing with salt and pepper, tossed the salad and the cauliflower florets with the dressing, and garnished with a few yellow cherry tomatoes.

This makes quite a large batch for two, so we had leftovers – they tasted mighty delicious after half a day of refrigeration as well.


  1. Posted February 8, 2009 at 23:18 | Permalink

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been craving salads like crazy.

  2. Posted February 9, 2009 at 00:04 | Permalink

    The textures of quinoa and edamame would go so well together – great idea! And thanks for the quinoa tips. Mine always comes out kinda dry or unsprouted unless I throw it in the rice cooker.

  3. Posted February 9, 2009 at 01:15 | Permalink

    What a great idea! This sounds amazing. Quinoa and edamame are two of my favorite foods, combined together it must be out of this world.

  4. Anni
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 09:29 | Permalink

    Shelby – you’re welcome, this is good for salad cravings!

    Chris – I forgot to add that I always rinse the quinoa well, I’ll edit the post to include that.

    Nicole – Thanks! I simply love quinoa, it’s my favorite too.

  5. Anna
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:36 | Permalink

    Hei Anni,
    I love Quinoa, never tried it in a salad before, though. The vegetable situation here is okay- there is vege, but horridly expensive (for us, that is.Bf told me bellpeppers were 7 €/kg all year round in Finnland, so maybe I’m just spoiled) even the root stuff and the kale. And I’ve never seen Edamame in my whole life. Where do you get that?

  6. Anni
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 10:51 | Permalink

    Hi Anna! Another quinoa lover, that’s great – try adding it in salads, you’ll love it! Well, maybe your boyfriend is exaggerating a tiny bit (in the summertime veggies are cheaper), but he’s right, bell peppers surely are expensive in Finland. We get edamame from the Asian grocery, in the freezer section!

  7. Posted February 9, 2009 at 15:30 | Permalink

    edamame and quinoa… i would have never thought of such a combination. i’ll have to give it a try!

  8. Posted February 9, 2009 at 17:44 | Permalink

    Soup is always my answer to fresh veggies in the winter… sometimes I need something warm! I’m sure you enjoyed that one, it looks amazing! Lucky you :)

  9. Posted February 9, 2009 at 17:46 | Permalink

    What a lovely sounding salad! I love quinoa in salads and I just happen to have both edamame and cauliflower in the kitchen.

  10. Posted February 9, 2009 at 19:07 | Permalink

    Ohh I’m gonna whip this up this week to bring to work for lunch.

  11. Posted February 10, 2009 at 17:25 | Permalink

    This sounds like the perfect winter salad recipe. I’m glad I can finally get edamame over here, I should get me a package soon to make this.

  12. Posted February 10, 2009 at 19:26 | Permalink

    Looks delicious! I don’t think I’ve tried quinoa before or maybe I have but I don’t remember. Now I want to try it for sure. Thanks for the recipe! :-)

  13. Posted February 11, 2009 at 02:49 | Permalink

    Ooh, this sounds really nice!

  14. Laura
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 17:12 | Permalink

    Oi nammmmmm resepti näyttää ihanalle! Just tollaista kaipailinkin, edamame-himot ovat olleet korkeat ja kaapissa odottaa tuore avaamaton luomu-quinoapaketti. Saanko udella mistä olette edamamenne metsästäneet? Itse olen törmännyt pakastettuihin palkoihin vain Tokyokanissa ja hinta on aika pureva. Hakaniemestä ehkä löytyisi edullisemmin, suosituksia? :)

  15. Anni
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 17:27 | Permalink

    Moi Laura, ja kiitos kiitos! Meidän pakaste-edamamet (ilman palkoja siis) ovat peräisin Aseanic Trading -nimisestä kaupasta, joka on Kolmannella linjalla, lähellä Hämeentietä. Hintaa en nyt muista, mikä tarkoittaa ettei se voi olla kovin paha. Tuolta meille ostetaan myös tofu, tempeh, tuore korianteri, bok choy, cashew-pähkinät… Ja kaikenlaista muutakin – suosittelen erittäin lämpimästi!

  16. Laura
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 14:59 | Permalink

    Alright, kiitoksia kovasti! Täytyy mennä tarkistamaan tuo paikka ensi kerralla kun käyn Hakaniemessä “tankkaamassa” ruokakomeroani ihanilla vege&etnoherkuilla. :) Yleensä vakioliikkeenäni on toiminut Aasialainen kauppa.

    Oletko muuten törmännyt tuolla tuoreisiin/kuivattuihin siitake-sieniin? Kotimaistakin joskus saa luomuna, mutta hinta on jälleen kerran aika kirvelevä opiskelijakukkarolle.

  17. Anni
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 15:14 | Permalink

    Itse asiassa se Aasialainen kauppa on sama kuin Aseanic Trading, en ollut tajunnut tuota suomenkielistä nimeä! Joten suuntaa vaan pakastelaarille, joka on seinän vieressä – sieltä pitäisi löytyä edamamea. Ja kuivattuja siitakesieniä ollaan sieltä myös ostettu, mutta etiketissä luki “kuivattuja kiinalaisia sieniä” (tai jotain sinne päin).

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