This Summer Herb and Veggie Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette! Wow! It’s so freakin’ good, friends! Before summer slips by, and our palate wants nothing but pot roast and mashed potatoes, promise me you will make this! Promise? Okay, good!
I mean we have to take advantage of all the beautiful produce spilling out of the backyard garden and the farmers’ markets! Fresh sweet corn and crunchy sweet bell peppers along with a generous amount of garden-fresh herbs mixed with nutritious quinoa in a bright and zingy lemon and ginger vinaigrette are what my salad loving soul craves!
Fresh summer produce is a gift to our tastebuds! This Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette is too! It’s bright and perky from the fresh lemon juice with just a hint of warmth from the minced fresh ginger. Perfection in a jar! You should probably make a double batch. Ya know, just in case you take to drinking it with a straw!
A word about quinoa
If you’ve never had quinoa, this Summer Herb and Veggie Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette is the perfect opportunity to be introduced to it. Quinoa is chewy, tender, and full of fiber and protein. If your tastebuds ever grow tired of pasta, quinoa is a great alternative. It cooks in 20 minutes or less and is so much healthier! Before you cook quinoa be sure to rinse it with cold water for about a minute. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin. If the saponin is not rinsed from the quinoa, it will taste bitter. No Bueno!
With Labor Day just around the corner, if you are looking for a new addition to your picnic menu may I suggest this salad paired with Watermelon Elderflower Sangria? Follow it up with a generous scoop of Blueberry & Oatmeal Creme Pie Ice Cream and that my friends is what a perfect summer day is made of!
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Summer Herb & Veggie Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette is the perfect light & fresh dinner! A great way to use up all those late summer herbs in the garden!
For the Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of chipotle chile powder
For the Salad:
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
splash of white wine (optional)
1 1/3 cups of water
1/4 tsp sea salt
corn kernels from one ear of fresh sweet corn
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 orange bell pepper, minced
1 packed cup of minced fresh herbs ( I used a combination of basil, cilantro & chives)
a sprinkle of sea salt before serving (optional)
Halved cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, for garnish
For the Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette:
Place the vinaigrette ingredients into a high powered blender. Process dressing until smooth. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.
For the Quinoa:
In a medium-sized saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and hot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and quinoa. Cook for two minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash of white wine and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the water and sea salt. Stir to combine. Raise the heat to high and bring the quinoa to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid on the pan. Simmer the quinoa for 15-20 minutes. The quinoa is fully cooked when tender and the quinoa curlicues are visible. Remove the pan from the heat. Take the lid off of the pan. Let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Allow the quinoa to cool until room temperature.
To assemble the Salad:
When the quinoa is cool, add the minced vegetables and herbs to the mixing bowl along with the lemon-ginger vinaigrette.
Stir to combine the ingredients. Garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt, halved cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves. Time to dig in!
The quinoa salad is terrific at room temperature or chilled.
Don’t skip rinsing and draining the quinoa! Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin. If it is not cleaned first, the final cooked quinoa will have an unpleasant bitter taste.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: quinoa veggie herb salad lemon ginger vinaigrette