Looking for a potluck dish? You’ve got it right here!
However, let me be honest, I think I had some pot-luck bad luck when it came to taking pictures of the completed dish. So, I apologize for the lackluster photos. I couldn’t *not* share this recipe because it really was just that good.
We had to say goodbye to two of our original vegetarian potluck crew as they move on to Boston. Our theme for the night was an Italian feast. Charged with bringing a side-dish, I wanted something flavorful and interesting. This fit that bill.
You can serve this salad warm or cold. Perfect for a potluck so you don’t have to worry about heating anything up.
Smoky paprika is something you should keep in your spice rack at all times. It adds a unique flavor to any dish.
Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette
Recipe from: Katherine Martinelli 
- 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 6 small or 3 large portabello mushrooms (about 6 ounces), sliced
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 (15- to 16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 unpeeled cucumber, chopped
- 6 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
- 1½ cups crumbled feta or Bulgarian cheese (about 7 ounces), divided
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ cup olive oil
- Put the quinoa in a large saucepan and 1¾ cup water, or enough water to cover quinoa by about 1 inch. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and drain of any remaining liquid, if there is any. Allow to cool slightly. (Megabeth note: I just made my quinoa in the rice cooker. Used the same quinoa to water ratio, turned on the cooker and let it cook while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.)
- Heat a drop of olive oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) until very hot. Add the portabello mushrooms and cook until tender and cooked through. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until fully absorbed, another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Put the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, 1 cup of cheese, and half of the mushrooms in a large bowl.
- Add the cooled quinoa and toss gently to blend.
- Whisk vinegar and smoked paprika in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
- Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.
- Sprinkle remaining feta and mushrooms over and serve immediately.