Tomato Basil Quinoa Salad

December 20, 2012

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.

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.

tomato basil quinoa salad

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!

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  • Reply The Healthy Flavor December 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I love this Lisa! I, too, have a dish called Christmas quinoa with a cranberry balsamic reduction sauce! I love all the tomatoes you use in the dish. It looks so yummy!

  • Reply Lisa Horvath December 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks Brandi. Your cranberry comments makes me wonder if I can do something with dried cherries. Must experiment!

    • Reply The Healthy Flavor December 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Oh yes that would be fabulous! Dried cherries are scrumptious. I loved adding the cranberries because first, it’s seasonal and second it gives a nice tart flavor to the sauce. Lots of “pow” flavor in your mouth! The cherries would be awesome I bet.

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