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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a favorite of many with good reason. It’s a grain (actually a seed) that is loaded with protein and is gluten-free. It is easy to prepare and is the perfect blank canvas for many creative additions.

I love it in a salad because it can stand up to big tastes like the ones in this recipe. There is an explosion of tastes and textures, yet there is also a pleasant balance of flavors. Grilling the corn and mushrooms gave them both a flavor boost. The chewiness of the mushrooms gave the dish a “meaty” feel and the tomatoes and onions gave it just the right amount of crunch. Quinoa is innately toothsome and was a perfect counterbalance.

I opted for a vinaigrette liberally laced with lemon and rosemary and a big hint of garlic to keep with the Mediterranean theme. You could use another bean, maybe cannellini if you were so inclined. The addition of a little cheese, perhaps feta, wouldn’t be a sin either. As with all of my recipes, I want you to make it your own.

This would make a wonderful side dish at a cookout, but it would be equally at home starring as they main attraction.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Dressing
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock according to the package directions adding the lemon peel, crushed garlic, and rosemary sprig at the beginning of cooking. Once it is cooked, remove the garlic, lemon, and rosemary as well as any un-absorbed broth and transfer into a large bowl.
  2. Trim the stems on the mushrooms. Cut any very large ones in half. Toss with the olive oil and grill in a basket over medium heat until lightly browned. Add to the bowl of quinoa.
  3. Spray the ears of corn lightly with cooking spray and grill over medium heat until lightly charred on all sides. Allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off the cob and add them to the quinoa bowl.
  4. Drain the artichoke hearts well and roughly chop them before adding them to the bowl along with the red onions and garbanzo beans.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl
  6. Toss the ingredients together gently. Add the dressing and toss once more. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve.
Dressing
  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until the dressing is smooth. There will be small flecks of rosemary...that is a good thing.
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Panzanella Salad

Panzanella is a wonderful vehicle for the bounty of summer vegetables, It’s also a bread lover’s best friend. Any assortment of vegetables can be combined with toasted bread cubes. Toss it all with the vinaigrette of your choice and you’ve got a hearty salad that almost eats like a meal. DIGITAL CAMERASlice up some grilled meat or an interesting cheese and call it dinner. The ingredients listed below are what I made this time. I honestly make it differently every time. I’ve even grilled the vegetables. Choose a crusty bread that is just a little stale. This go round I used a multi-grain baguette, but sour dough would be wonderful, too.┬áThe bottom line for this recipe is use what you like to make the panzanella salad you’ll love.

Panzanella Salad
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Panzanella Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Dressing
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Spray the bread cubes lightly with the olive oil spray. Bake 15 minutes until the cubes are lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  2. Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut crosswise into 1/2 slices. Cut the onion in half crosswise. Cut each half in thin vertical strips.
  3. Put the onions and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the chopped pepper, cucumbers, and the bread cubes. Tear the basil leaves into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
  4. Dressing: Mash the garlic, anchovy paste and a pinch of salt in a mortar. It should be a fairly smooth paste. Combine the oil, vinegar, herbs, and the garlic anchovy paste in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until the dressing is completely blended.
  5. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and chill for several hours. Serve.
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Cucumber and Grape Tomato Salsa

Cucumber and Grape Tomato Salsa
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This is a unique and refreshing take on salsa. Baby cucumbers are sweet and crunchy with edible seeds and peel. The grape tomatoes are a perfect companion and the little slices are really pretty. Serve it as a salad or as an appetizer with chips.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Cucumber and Grape Tomato Salsa
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This is a unique and refreshing take on salsa. Baby cucumbers are sweet and crunchy with edible seeds and peel. The grape tomatoes are a perfect companion and the little slices are really pretty. Serve it as a salad or as an appetizer with chips.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Peel three of the cucumbers and leave the skin on the fourth. Quarter lengthwise and slice into little pie shapes. You can peel all the cucumbers or leave the skin on more if you want.
  2. Slice the grape tomatoes crosswise to create little rounds. Put the tomatoes and cucumber slices in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the chopped onion and jalapeno, the minced garlic, and the cilantro and toss together. Sprinkle with the salt and toss once again.
  4. Squeeze all of the juice out of the lime. Use a reamer to get every last bit. If you are using the agave, add it now. Mix everything together, cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  5. This is a wonderful salad, but it is also a different kind of salsa to serve with chips.
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Mini Gourmet Tomato Bruschetta

Mini Gourmet Tomato Bruschetta
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Mini Gourmet Tomato Bruschetta
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cut the tomatoes into small bite size pieces and put into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the shallots and herbs and toss to mix.
  3. Put vinegar, oil, and agave (sugar) in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to blend completely. Pour over the tomatoes and herbs and toss to blend.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss again. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve on crostini.
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Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Southwestern Quinoa Salad
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The nutrition of quinoa and the flavors of the southwest come together in a healthy and flavorful meatless main dish salad. It's also great as a side dish.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
The nutrition of quinoa and the flavors of the southwest come together in a healthy and flavorful meatless main dish salad. It's also great as a side dish.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Dressing
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To roast Poblanos: Place poblanos under the broiler for 10 minutes or so, turning as the skin blisters. It should be blistered on all sides. Remove the peppers to a shallow bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 5-8 minutes. At this point the skin should come off easily. Remove the stem and seeds and chop.
  2. Put the quinoa, bell peppers, poblano, onion, corn and black beans in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Add the avocado and cilantro to the bowl and toss gently to combine.
  4. Pour the canola oil into a small fry pan. Add the garlic and the cumin seeds and heat over low heat until the garlic stats to sizzle. Remove from heat (do not let the garlic brown) and set aside to cool before adding to the dressing jar.
  5. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Cover tightly and shake until ingredients emulsify.
  6. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and toss gently to combine.
  7. Cover the salad and chill for several hours. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. This serves 4 as a main dish and 6 or more as a side dish.
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