I’m always looking for easy, healthy side dishes to go with whatever grilled meat we’re having throughout the summer. It’s a huge bonus too if I can make something ahead of time and just get it out when dinner’s ready to be served.
Also, I’ve been trying to find different ways to make quinoa lately too. It’s a super-healthy grain, and tastes really good so I’ll be trying to use it a lot more this summer.
I’ve actually made this salad as an orzo pasta salad before (original recipe is from Ina Garten here), but there’s only so much a girl can eat pasta (and coming from me, that’s saying a lot).
So I swapped out the orzo for quinoa to lighten things up a bit. Plus, I left out the garlic and eggplant (Trevor isn’t a huge fan of eggplant) and used some white mushrooms instead. I also added some fresh flat leaf parsley (only because we have a ton of it in our garden right now), and it was a great way to use up a bunch.
I served this salad alongside some pesto grilled shrimp and cut up strawberries for a little something sweet (my dinner is pictured above). It would also go well with beef and chicken (pretty much anything off the grill).
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 red bell pepper
- 5 large white mushrooms
- 1/2 medium-sized zucchini
- 1/2 medium-sized summer squash
- 1/2 vidalia onion
- 15 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1 lemon, juiced
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
Wash the quinoa and prepare it as the instructions on the package tell you (all of them are somewhat different). My Trader Joe’s brand had me bring to a boil then simmer for about 12 minutes (until the water had all evaporated). Once the quinoa is done, scrape into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil and allow to cool a bit. Once its cooled even more, add the lemon juice and a little bit of pepper. I don’t add salt at this point because the cheese will add enough of a salty bite to the salad.
While you’re cooking the quinoa, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cut up the vegetables into 1 inch chunks. They will shrink significantly in the oven so larger pieces are good here. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Once they’re done, allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, then add into the quinoa.
Add the feta cheese, basil and parsley then stir together lightly. Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat and enjoy!