There are few salads that I make that offer the variety of taste and texture that this one does. I often have it for a winter lunch; it’s perfect for getting through the day when you are looking at a heavier, heartier dinner. Don’t be shy with the red-pepper flakes. They really wake up your tastebuds.
- Yield: 4 Servings
To Make the Shrimp
- In a shallow dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside while cooking the quinoa. To Make the Quinoa
- In a saucepan over low heat, combine the canola oil and onion. Sweat the onion until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir. Add the water, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover and simmer until the germ opens and it inflates in size, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Fluff with a fork. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme.
- Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat for 5 minutes. Working in batches, grill the shrimp until they turn opaque throughout, about 1½ minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. To Assemble the Salad
- Halve the avocado, remove the pit, and cut into medium dice. Transfer to a serving bowl. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, reserved orange juice, orange segments, lemon juice, and salt and black pepper. Pour over the avocado. Add the warm quinoa and gently toss. Add the mint, parsley, and pepper flakes and top with the shrimp. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste.