It’s summer and all I want to eat are quinoa salads. Hence why you’ve seen two quinoa salad posts in a row. I can’t get enough. I’ve had quinoa every night this week. I think it’s the ease of preparation and the fact that it’s light but still filling that’s got me. Although it doesn’t take much to convince me to eat quinoa. This caprese quinoa salad can be made in 20 minutes but taste decadent and so fresh.
It’s crazy flavorful and perfect in the warm weather. As an aside, this is not the summer I signed up for. It’s not nearly hot enough and every afternoon the sky clouds over, the thunder rolls and the rain falls. I like the rain as much as the next person and I love a good thunderstorm but not every afternoon. I want heat. I want sunshine. I think everyone claiming 300 days of sunshine a year in Colorado was full of it or was counting the few hours in the morning when the sun shines.
If we ever get another nice, sunny afternoon this would also be the perfect meal for a picnic. Minus the cheese it could stay out on a picnic table for hours and still taste heavenly.
Speaking of cheese, feel free to omit if you’d like. It does not make the dish. I just happen to eye a little block of swiss cheese in the fridge as I was pulling out the rest of the ingredients for this salad and thought it sounded good so I included it.
Also, I used a little Trader Joe’s bruschetta mix as the dressing plus a little salt and good balsamic. If you don’t have a pre-packaged mix in your fridge (like me 95% of the time) mix up some olive oil, balsamic, lemon and salt and you’re good to go. I also recommend using fresh basil if you have it. The second basil plant in our garden looks to be going the same way as our first so I’m trying to use up what I can. I don’t know why I can’t seem to keep basil alive, everything else is thriving. More on our garden’s progress soon.
Without further ado, the recipe for this amazing caprese quinoa salad.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ cucumber, quartered
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, diced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon olive oil, lemon or garlic infused would work well here
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Dash of pepper
- Handful of basil, shredded
- 1 green onion, diced
- Rinse quinoa then place in a pot with water and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Bring water and quinoa to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed the water.
- While quinoa is cooking, chip cucumbers, tomatoes and cheese.
- Place cooked quinoa in a bowl with cucumbers, tomatoes and cheese.
- In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, remaining salt and pepper.
- Pour vinegar mixture over quinoa and mix well.
- Top with shredded basil and green onion.
Enjoy and Exhale!