It’s been far too long since the last quinoa salad I shared! At this moment I am a happy camper having almost polished off this delicious bowl of goodness you see before your eyes. It is quite a combination of flavors and I must say they all came together, creating a most wonderful and satisfying meal!
With summer produce in abundance, the price is just right for picking and I couldn’t wait to do something with peaches this year. This is their first appearance on TSV and I couldn’t be happier than to bring them in grilled. Once grilled, they become sweet and smoky with a caramelized flavor. It’s a perfect accompaniment to the grilled corn & zucchini. Who knew all the flavors in this salad would pair so well!
As for the salad, I’ve added in chickpeas for extra protein. I wasn’t sure how they would be in the salad, but I ended up loving them. I think I can eat them with just about anything but feel free to omit them if you prefer. Switch up the chickpeas and use edamame if you like. I forgot to add red onion, sliced or diced it would be great here, maybe 1/2 onion would do. I love my quinoa, but you could replace it with farro or wheat berries for variety. Add a little chopped mint to the salad when mixing (and/or little extra chopped basil is great too).
The lemon-basil vinaigrette couldn’t be easier to make. It is a small portion so I’m hoping you already have a small personal blender. Something like the Nutri-Bullet works perfectly here. If not, you can simply mix all the ingredients together in a small jar. It won’t be as blended and creamy but it will still be great! Both ways are incredibly easy and can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator if needed. If you don’t care to use as much oil, use extra lemon or vinegar. Alternately, just squeeze a couple lemons over top the salad and have it that way, just be sure to add chopped basil (or mint as suggested above).
Get your salad together, add the dressing, mix and enjoy as is or with a little arugula mixed in!
Before I finished it off (below), I figured I’d take a quick picture so you can see that the dressing doesn’t turn the entire salad green. In fact, it doesn’t hardly change the color at all but it does add tons of flavor from the basil and lemon! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Cheers!
GRILLED PEACH, CORN & ZUCCHINI QUINOA SALAD + LEMON-BASIL VINAIGRETTE
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 peaches (ripe but firm)
- 2 corn on the cob
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or 1 1/2 cup cooked, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 avocado
- small handful pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- handful or two of baby arugula, to serve (optional)
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup packed basil leaves
- 3 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
- 2 – 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (wine, rice, sherry or white balsamic ok too)
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- good pinch of mineral salt
Quinoa: In a medium sauce pan, add quinoa and water/vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove lid and let rest for 10 minutes, fluff with fork.
Vinaigrette: Add all the ingredients to a small/personal food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Alternately, you can chop the basil really well and mince the garlic, then simply mix all the ingredients together in a small container – or add the basil to the salad and mix the remaining vinaigrette ingredients together. Set aside to let the flavors come together. Taste again before mixing to adjust flavor. Keep in the refrigerator if making a day or two in advance.
Prep: If corn has husks, either remove them or pull away and tie (as in the pics above), and remove all the silk threads from underneath. Cut peaches along the seam all the way around and twist halves off the pit. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. If you like add a light of oil to the cut side of the peaches and zucchini before placing on the grill, I didn’t do this since I oiled the grill directly.
Grill: Prep your grill and add a light coat of oil. Start with the corn first, it will take the longest, about 10 minutes or so depending on your grill. Then add the zucchini and peaches cut side down. The last two should grill up fairly quickly, about 3 – 5 minutes. I leave mine al dente.
Shuck & slice: Once done, remove the corn off the cob. Using a large, shallow, rimmed baking dish or pie dish, hold the corn by its top horizontally in the center, use a knife to gently but firmly cut the corn from the cob from top to bottom. Give the corn a 90 turn and repeat, until all the corn is removed. Slice zucchini into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices. Slice peaches into 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices. Slice tomatoes in half. Slice avocado in half, twist to separate halves, remove seed and slice thinly.
Combine: Add quinoa to a large mixing bowl, along with the peaches, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado and pepitas, toss to combine. Add the dressing and mix again. Add mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy as is or with a handful of arugula (this is especially good!).
Serves 4 generously
Change up the chickpeas with edamame.
Make this oil-free by simply squeezing a lemon or two over top the salad, just be sure to add plenty of chopped basil. A little mint would be great too.
Use farro or wheat berries in place of quinoa for variety.
I wanted to add sliced, or diced, red onion and forgot, feel free to add in about 1/2 red onion.