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Everything Tastes Better in Barcelona, Even Quinoa

I’m usually not big a fan of quinoa. Yes, I know it’s a very healthy high-protein grain and all that, but it seems to me to have a pretty dull texture and taste. Not this salad. The flavors are so lovely and bright together. Admittedly, I ate this salad yesterday while on my trip to Barcelona with my daughter Joanna – and in this magnificent, sunny, warm city with my darling daughter as company, I could be ecstatic about eating rice cakes. Really, though, this is a great salad. 

Quinoa Salad with Mango, Avocado, & Pistachios 

Ingredients (all amounts are pretty much made up) 

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (see note)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 

  • 1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)

  • 1 mango, chopped

  • 1 avocado, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp toasted pistachios (or any other nut you like)

  • Pea shoots (or cilantro) 


  • Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar; and combine that mixture with the quinoa in a bowl or on a platter.

  • Top with the mango, avocado, and pistachios. Mix again, if you like.

  • Top with pea shoots or cilantro.


Note: Instead of rinsing and then boiling quinoa, I prefer to brown it in the dry pot until it’s light brown; and then I add the water. This method gives the quinoa a nuttier taste – and you don’t have to rinse it first.