Easy, fun and carefree, family picnics and barbecues are a staple of summer. But they don’t always have to be about fried chicken and potato salad smothered in mayonnaise. Here’s a healthy alternative from the kitchen at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole that’s simple and quick to make. It’s sure to be a hit with parents and the teen set.
Of course, picnics are a natural when your backyard is the stunning backdrop of Teton National Park and the pristine shores of Jenny Lake. Ours can be arranged in a backpack or basket fully equipped with utensils, ice packs, bottle openers, napkins, a trash bag and bottled water. It’s such a relaxing way for the family to enjoy a meadow filled with alpine wildflowers on a sunny day together.
This tasty side salad travels well in the basket or a tote: quinoa tossed with cilantro vinaigrette. Quinoa is a grain-like crop with edible seeds, actually related to beets and spinach. Originally from the South American Andes, the Incas believed quinoa to be sacred.
We like it because it’s a perfect summer salad, high in protein with intense flavour. Make it ahead of time and chill in the fridge up to three days. Pack it in a sealed container to avoid leaks. Here’s a nice complement: a buffalo-pastrami-and-Muenster-cheese sandwich on marble rye bread with apple cider coleslaw and horseradish aioli. For dessert: huckleberry cheesecake. Wash it down with strawberry-ginger lemonade.
Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
1. In a blender, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and cilantro. Purée and emulsify. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, avocado and tomato. Pour vinaigrette over it and toss together.
3. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly with salt and white pepper.
4. Fold in almonds and serve or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Serves eight to 10.
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