It’s been a lot of sweets around here lately and although I love me some sugar, it’s time for something savory tomato basil quinoa salad.
This quinoa salad seems a little summery for late December but let’s use red and green to our advantage and say this is a Christmas themed quinoa salad shall we? Even if it’s really just a product of the leftovers from my paninis earlier this week.
This basil has been taunting me, slowly turning brown with each passing day, and yet I didn’t know what to do with it. And these grape tomatoes, although completely out of season, taste surprisingly sweet and shouldn’t be wasted. So I decided to keep with the panini theme in quinoa form. I mixed the grape tomatoes and basil with sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and a big squeeze of lemon for a dish that makes it feel like August in December.
Just a little something healthy in between all the Christmas cookies.
Tomato Basil Quinoa Salad (vegan, gluten-free)
2 cups dry quinoa
4 cups water
pinch of salt
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/4 cup basil, cut into ribbons
Cook quinoa according to these directions.
While quinoa is cooking, heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium low. Reduce to about half, approximately 7-8 minutes. The vinegar should still be liquid-y, don’t let it get too thick.
Chop tomatoes into bite size pieces and chiffonade the basil (i.e. French for cut into little ribbons).
Place quinoa in a bowl with the tomatoes and basil. Mix in balsamic reduction, olive oil, lemon and salt.
I mixed the basil in when I took these photos but you can also just top with basil at the very end if you prefer.
I also only used 1 cup dry quinoa in my recipe and found it a little heavy on the vinegar. Hence the quinoa in my photos will seem a bit darker than yours will, use 2 cups quinoa as the recipe states and I think it will be just right.
Enjoy and Exhale!