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There’s an old joke about August being the month when folks who live in the country lock their cars when they go to church to prevent people from leaving zucchini on seats.
Where I’m living, it’s actually not a joke. The vegetables are coming on hard and fast right now and the harvest is almost too bountiful.
When I went to pick up my farm share at the market a few days before I left for my trip to Europe, Sarahlee, the adorable organic farmer, ordered me to go back to my car for a second bag. She had bin after bin of additional vegetables that CSA members could have for free and urged me to take as much as I could possibly use. I didn’t want to see those beautiful eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, or cucumbers go to waste so I filled my bag to the brim. My refrigerator was stuffed!
Then, of course, I needed to figure out what to do with all that bounty.
Step one – invite people over for dinner.
Step two – come up with a delicious veggie-centered recipe, like my Summer’s Bounty Quinoa Salad.
What Do You Have In Stock?
I really just started with whatever I had on hand, the vegetables and then some pantry and refrigerator staples (and you know how I am dedicated to keep my pantry prepared for anything!). But my-oh-my, what a happy agricultural alchemy came out of it! This Summer’s Bounty Quinoa Salad tastes like anything but potluck!
True confession time. I experiment with a lot of my own recipes; way more than I share on the blog. Why is that? Because if the experiment isn’t a success, I keep the results to myself.
But the Summer Bounty Quinoa Salad turned out so well that I saved it for this week while I’m traveling when I wasn’t planning to blog. (Also because, if your garden is growing as fast as Farmer Sarahlee’s, then you need this recipe NOW. I consider this post a small contribution to the Betterment of the World. You’re welcome.)
This hearty and healthy salad works great as a side dish. But it’s also satisfying enough to serve as a main course and makes 6 to 8 generously-sized main dish portions. It’s a super choice for vegetarians – the quinoa and parmesan add a nice protein punch. But if you want to make it vegan, just leave out the cheese.
However you serve it, this salad is a delicious, flavorful, celebration of summer’s bounty. Enjoy!Print
This hearty and healthy salad works great as a side dish. But it’s also satisfying enough to serve as a main course and makes 6 to 8 generously sized main dish portions. It’s a super choice for vegetarians – the quinoa and parmesan add a nice protein punch. If you want to make it vegan, just leave out the cheese.
For the quinoa salad:2 uncooked cups quinoa (You’ll cook it according to the package directions)1 red onion, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks2 small eggplants, diced into 1 inch chunks3 large tomatoes, cut into chunks2 T olive oilSaltPepper2 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced10 cherry (or small) tomatoes, quartered12 Spanish olives, sliced1 cup grated parmesan cheeseFor the vinaigrette:1/2 cup olive oil1/2 cup red wine vinegar1 T lemon juice1 T dijon2 T fresh basil, chopped1 T capersSaltPepperCrushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 425.
Place chopped onion, eggplant, and large tomato chunks onto a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and mix with large spoon to coat with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix again. Place vegetables in oven and allow to roast until well cooked, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
While vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. After cooking, fluff with fork and place into large salad bowl to cool.
Make the vinaigrette. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Stir in capers and basil.
Top cooked, cooled quinoa with roasted vegetables, raw cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, and sliced olives. Pour vinaigrette over. Toss to mix thoroughly and put salad in refrigerator until ready to serve. If desired, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the salad just before serving.