Inspired by a salad eaten on a summer trip to a seaside resort on the southern coast of England, this meal is clean, light, healthy, and perfect for hot days. A few unique ingredients may surprise you but are available at local specialty grocery stores. They make this salad extra-special and delicious. It’s nutty, sweet, salty, acidic, and tart with a perfectly crunchy texture you won’t be able to get enough of.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • ½ red onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 4 cups spinach – roughly chopped
  • 1 cup crunchy or regular sprouts
  • 1 cup Petits Poivrons, also called Sweety Drop Peppers (found at salad buffet or canned at specialty grocery stores) – drained
  • 3 green onions – sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes – cubed
  • 2 red radishes – sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 large mango – peeled, pitted, and cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 Tbsp good-quality white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil

Pickle the Onions

Place the sliced red onion in a mason jar. Heat a saucepan over high heat and add ½ cup of water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and 1 tsp salt. Whisk together until sugar and salt dissolve, then pour over onions. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use and drain before using. 

Cook the Quinoa

Heat another saucepan over high heat and add the quinoa, 2 cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover it and simmer until all water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.

Assemble the Salad

In a large salad bowl, add the quinoa, drained red onions, spinach, sprouts, Sweety Drop Peppers, green onions, tomatoes, radishes, mango, and capers. Toss together, then drizzle with the white balsamic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss together again until well combined.


By Andrea LeTard