Several years back, I went to Ecuador with two friends (one of whom was the lovely Grow Cook Brew). I left with a newfound appreciation of piranhas, boobies, the power of altitude to make you ill, and the power of citric acid to cook fish into delicious ceviche.

I made ceviche tonight, for the first time. It was delicious. But I won’t write about it here until I can confirm that it hasn’t made me sick.

Instead, I’m going to write about this salad, which I intended as a vaguely Andean accompaniment to the ceviche but which is fantastic all by itself. Even if it’s not as alchemical as citrus turning raw fish into ceviche, at least I can be fairly certain that it won’t make you sick.

Hola, quinoa!

I will update this post if there’s a salmonella outbreak in cans of hearts of palm.

Quinoa salad with avocado and hearts of palm
Adapted from Epicurious

1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 can hearts of palm, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Rinse quinoa and cook according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, soak onion in a bowl of cold water and 1/4 cup vinegar for 5 minutes, then drain well.

Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup vinegar, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Toss quinoa, onion, hearts of palm, avocado, and herbs with dressing.

Serves 3 as main dish.