The joys of Summer!! Longer days, lots of sunshine, grilling outdoors and fresh produce!!
Here’s a grilled vegetable and quinoa salad will knock your socks off! Packed with fiber, vitamins and protein, this very simple recipe will become a family favorite for lunch, dinner or served as an appetizer or side dish. Makes a beautiful ‘antipasto’ tray for parties too.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Grilled Summer Vegetables
1 small Italian eggplant (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
1 small zucchini (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
1/2 small red onion (1/4 of a large red onion)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
Basil Quinoa Salad
2 cups water
1/4 cup basil leaves loosely packed, chopped
1/2 cup tiny mozzarella balls, tossed in a little salt and pepper (Optional)
Whisk together all the balsamic dressing ingredients and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, boil water for the quinoa salad. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer covered, until all the water has been completely absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
While quinoa is cooking, cut the eggplant and zucchini into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Cut the red onion into rings. Place cubed eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes and thyme leaves in a bowl. Pour half the balsamic dressing over the vegetables and toss well.
Brush grill grates with olive oil or non-stick spray (you may use a stovetop cast iron grill). Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the vegetables about 3 minutes on one side or until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Flip them over and grill other side until vegetables are tender but still a bit firm. Tomatoes will cook quicker; remove them from the grill as soon as they start to blister.
Reserve the balsamic dressing that remains in the bowl, to serve with the meal.
If you don’t have a grill, broil the vegetables in the top rack in your oven until one side is golden. Flip and broil other side.
When the quinoa finishes cooking, toss it with the second half of the balsamic dressing. Stir in chopped basil, salt and pepper.
Spread quinoa on a platter or bowl. Arrange the grilled summer vegetables and mozzarella balls (optional) around the quinoa.
Serve warm with the reserved balsamic dressing on the side.
Thanks to www.veggiebelly.com for the image & recipe