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.