Garden Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
This is my much anticipated (by me, at least!) first post as a food blogger! I’ve spent years reading other peoples’ food blogs and am excited to share some of my own original recipes in addition to my twists on existing recipes.
I first made this salad for a friend’s baby shower…the request was for a vegetable-heavy side salad without leafy greens. I had been wanting to go by the farmer’s market for a while, and this seemed like the perfect excuse. Even though it can get a little expensive, there’s something about picking out and cooking with fresh local vegetables that just feels special and makes me appreciate the end result even more.
This quinoa salad is nicely versatile and could easily be modified to incorporate any of your favorite seasonal vegetables (or whatever happens to be in your fridge at the moment). It works great as a side or a simple lunch dish to eat throughout the week. The flavors only get better with time as the quinoa absorbs the lemon basil vinaigrette. While the photo above shows the salad made with mozzarella cheese, the recipe below calls for feta. I liked it better with the added saltiness of the feta, but of course you could use either when making it yourself.
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (any color will work)
- 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- handful of chopped basil (1/2 cup loosely packed)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Combine quinoa and 2 cups of water in a pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until all of the water is absorbed.
- While the quinoa cooks, combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, handful of basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until mostly smooth (if you don't have a food processor then just mince the garlic and whisk together in a bowl)
- When the quinoa has finished cooking combine with chopped veggies
- Pour dressing over the quinoa and veggie mixture and stir to combine
- Mix in feta cheese and (optional) garnish with additional basil and/or parsley