Tuesday, June 19

Peach, Fennel & Mint Quinoa Salad

Grain salads are totally all the rage right now. And not just in my head. They're everywhere else too. They're a fabulous and healthy alternative to pasta or potato or macaroni salad. Or even a more filling alternative to a green salad. When you use a grain like quinoa, brown rice or barley as a base to your salad dish, you easily add vitamins, fiber and protein. Then, you can pack in veggies and fruit and skip the mayo.

And, the beautiful thing about summer is that produce is so fresh.... and so good. I can get excited about tomatoes. And green beans. And squash. Because it's sooo good! And it's even better when you don't cook it. Which is nice... because who wants to cook too much in the summer? Don't you love it when nature has your back? The only thing better would be if mint chocolate chip ice cream grew on trees.

Soundtrack: This

Peach, Fennel & Mint Quinoa Salad
Serves 6 as a side, 4 as a main course

1 c quinoa
1/2 c scallions, chopped
1 large peach, pitted and chopped (don't peel)
1 c green beans, trimmed, cleaned and cut into >1/2 in pieces
2 tbsp chopped mint
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 tbsp EVOO (I used jalapeno infused, but this totally isn't necessary)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions.

While the quinoa cooks, combine scallions, peaches, green beans, mint, and fennel in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar. Season with pepper and about 1/8 tsp salt. Pour over the fresh ingredients in the large bowl. Toss to combine.

Add quinoa while still slightly warm and toss to combine. Serve while warm or cooled.

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