Today we’re going RED, WHITE, and B…RUSCHETTA!
Happy ‘merica day, folks! It’s one of my favoritest of holidays since it’s one of the few times my pilot is actually OFF of work! Whoo! Last year he had to celebrate from Afghanistan so this year we’re going all out. Now if I can only find my American flag sunnies… then we’ll be in business! Hope those of you that celebrate have a rocking 4th of July weekend in store for you.
In case you have a little downtime this week/weekend and wind up on my spastic little corner of the internet [Hiiiii!] then you totally have to make this recipe. It’s plate-licking delicious and super healthy! In fact, if you need a last minute dish for a shindig or barbecue this weekend you can whip this up on the fly and give everyone something nutritious to munch on along with their red white and blue dessert-a-thon.
Bruschetta Quinoa Salad
[serves 1-2 and can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to feed a crowd!]
Bruschetta Quinoa Salad
Author: Jenn Laughlin
Recipe type: entree, side, salad
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- ¾ cup water or veggie broth
- 2 cups of baby spinach [optional]
- 2 cups of ripe tomato, diced
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and minced
- ¼-1/2 cup of cucumber, peeled + diced
- ¼ cup of finely diced/minced white or purple onion
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 5 large basil leaves, chopped/chiffonade[plus extra for topping!]
- 1 tsp of fresh parsley, chopped [or ½ tsp of dried parsley]
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- a teeny sprinkle of dill
- your favorite balsamic vinegar or a sweet balsamic glaze [see below]
- salt and pepper, to taste
- optional extras:
- finely diced green bell peppers or jalapeno peppers [I tried it with jalapeno - YUM!]
- a few spoonfuls of crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Want perfect shreds of basil without the fuss? Break out your kitchen scissors and snip away! It's actually easier than chopping and the results are gorgeous.
- Pour dry quinoa into a sieve or mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly to remove its natural coating.
- Shake out any excess water from the sieve, toss it in a pot and pat it dry with a few paper towels.
- Turn heat to medium or medium-high and lightly toast your quinoa to remove any leftover moisture. While toasting, continue to move the quiona around frequently [with a fork, spoon, or tool of choice] so it doesn't burn.
- Once dry, add in your water or broth and increase heat to high.
- Once the quinoa reaches a boil, reduce to low/simmer and cover, leaving a small corner of the lid ajar to allow steam to escape. Then set your timer for 12 minutes.
- After 12-13 minutes, remove quinoa from heat and fluff with a fork.
- If you're a fan of salt and pepper, break it out! I always season my quinoa with a bit of each after fluffing.
- New to quinoa? Here's a [visual tutorial] of the cooking process!
- While your quinoa cooks, get to work on those veggies!
- Combine chopped tomatoes, onion, cucumber and garlic in a small bowl.
- Whisk together olive oil, white balsamic or red wine vinegar, basil, parsley, salt, garlic powder, dill and pour over the veggies.
- Mix well and allow the flavors to meld for a few minutes before tasting. After testing a spoonful, feel free to add in any extra seasonings or additional oil/vinegar if desired. To bring out extra sweetness in the tomatoes you can add a pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey to the mixture as well! It's easily customized to rock your palette =)
- If you want to up the veggies, plate your bruschetta quinoa on a bed of baby spinach or field greens! Otherwise just layer the two, drizzle with balsamic or balsamic glaze. It's marvelous topped with crumbled feta or enjoyed all on it's own! Enjoy!
so… how was it?
Insanely good! The nutty quinoa is a perfect pairing for the super-refreshing bruschetta-style tomatoes and veggies. Top it with a sweet balsamic glaze [or your favorite balsamic!] and salty feta and you just might experience fireworks of the taste buds. It’s been known to happen =) This is sure to be a summer staple of mine for here on out! Plus it’s loaded with nutrients, packed with flavor, and just plain awesome. Hello amazing.
Make it for yourself, or serve it to a crowd! Since no one actually wants to plate and top 50 crostini with bruschetta for a shindig, save yourself the hassle and whip this up for your weekend BBQ or to bring to a friend’s event! It’ll be a hit, I promise. Plus there’s nothing like hearing “I didn’t know I liked quinoa!” from your friends and family. It’s like a warm hug.
I’m off to do a sunshine dance so I can drag my happy butt to the beach!
Hope you have a fabulous 4th!