Quinoa’s reputation precedes it. It’s a “superfood” packed with protein and iron, a grain that can be used in place of rice, puffed into crunchy cereal clusters, even thrown into a cake.

One thing is absolutely certain: Quinoa adds a nice touch to salads, especially summer salads, because its light texture belies how hearty it is. We pulled our favorite quinoa salad recipes from our archives, ready to be tweaked to your tastes.

Quinoa Salad With Zucchini, Poblano and Avocado, above. Mild green poblano and creamy avocado make for a simple, easy summer meal. The best part? You can break up prep, leave this in the fridge and take it to lunch all week without worrying. Just add avocado when you’re ready to eat!


(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

Corn and Quinoa Bowls With Herb Sauce. The bright herbaceous sauce takes this bowl to the next level. Cilantro and basil — a bit of an unusual pair — bring all the veggie add-ins together.


(Greg Powers for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

Summer Quinoa Pilaf. Toasting quinoa gives nutty notes to this pilaf, which is beautiful warm or cold. Toss in tomatoes, bell pepper and corn, and you’re all set.


(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Marinated Corn, Tomato and Halloumi Salad. Salty halloumi, bright little cherry tomatoes and fresh, sweet summer corn get tossed with mild lettuce, while a sherry vinegar dressing works its magic.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Dorie Greenspan’s Quinoa Bowls. Radish greens make for a new twist on pesto, while a minty yogurt sauce adds fresh creaminess to the crunchy vegetables and toothsome quinoa.


(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Tex-Mex Quinoa With … Consider this the ultimate back-pocket meal, ready to be whipped out and tinkered with when you just don’t know what to do with your leftovers and fresh, eclectic produce. You can prep the quinoa ahead of time, freeze it and defrost for a fast meal.


(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Quick Quinoa Pilaf. This simple pilaf is an excellent base for a grain bowl. The main flavors — almonds and scallion — work with just about any toppings you want to add. Our suggestion: orange slice, a ginger-soy dressing and whatever greens you’ve got on hand.

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