I came across this recipe in a book called Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, and it was a hit at a family BBQ, using the original cheese; Bocconcini. Bummed out that I didn't take the leftovers home for lunches, I made it again, this time using Herb & Garlic crumbled feta that I had in the fridge - holy bananas, feta took this salad to rock star status! I have two parrots, Merlin and Arwen (featured in some of my pics), and I had to put out two treat dishes for them, as neither would let the other near it! Try it with any good, tasty, cheese, and you'll love it - and if you don't do cheese, marinated tofu would be stellar as well. Use your imagination! One thing I can say is that when I made the salad with Bocconcini, maybe it was because I didn't marinate it, I served it immediately, but somehow, that very mild cheese just didn't do the dish justice. I sure hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
- 3⁄4 cup quinoa (white, red, black, or a combination)
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or 1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
- salt, to taste
- pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄2 cup red onion, diced
- 1⁄2 cup baby green pea, frozen
- 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup feta cheese, Herb & Garlic, crumbled or 1 cup bocconcini, Pearl or 1 cup bocconcini, Mini, halved
- Rinse and strain the quinoa to remove the bitter coating. Most quinoa today are pre-rinsed, so check the package, but even so, I prefer to give it one more rinse. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl; pour the dressing over the vegetables and thoroughly mix. Add the quinoa, and mix until evenly combined.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.