A hearty mixture of quinoa, roasted eggplant, zucchini and red peppers, this generous salad is a meal in a bowl. This Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad is perfect as a side dish or as the main course.
What is it about quinoa that we love so much? Is it the taste? Is it the way it’s so easy to add fiber and nutrition to our diets? Is is because quinoa is like a blank canvas which allows us to easily add so many of our favorite ingredients to?
For me, I think it’s all of the above. I confess, when quinoa first appeared of the food stage, I heartily jumped on board. I started off slowly, replacing rice and pasta with quinoa in recipes such as this Quinoa, Lentil and Black Bean Burrito Bowl. After I began using quinoa, I noticed how adaptable it was in so many recipes. My family loved it in my Black Bean Burritos and I even baked it in a casserole with spinach, red peppers and cheese. So many options…
Then, surprisingly, I kind of got tired of quinoa. I stopped cooking it and in a way, I just forgot about it.
That’s what often happens, isn’t it? We move on to other things and all of sudden stop and remember why we loved something and go right back to it.
This is certainly the case with this Quinoa, Roasted Eggpland and Zucchini Salad. It’s my new favorite salad and it’s the best-tasting salad I’ve had in a long, long time.
Why do I love it so much? Let me tell you…
I start off with oven roasted vegetables – a tray of diced eggplant, zucchini, red peppers and garlic which are topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a simple pinch of salt and pepper. Flavors come alive when vegetables are roasted in the oven. The exteriors caramelize while the insides soften and the aroma that will fill your kitchen is incredible.
After the vegetables have cooked and cooled, I add them to my already cooked quinoa. The vegetables add a pretty splash of color and flavor. For the dressing, I use a simple blend of champagne vinegar, olive oil, dried tarragon, salt and pepper whisked together and then added to the quinoa.
Serve this quinoa salad as a side dish or as the main course. It goes nicely with fish or chicken and feel free to swich up the vegetables. Add your favorites instead of the ones I used, this is a recipe that’s totally adaptable to your tastes.
If you’re serving wine, a light sauvignon blanc or pinot noir would go very well.
Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa , well rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium eggplant , cubed
- 1 medium zucchini , cubed
- 1 red pepper , chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces feta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
- Put the rinsed quinoa, salt and water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer gently until the quinoa absorbs all the water, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat well.
- Pour onto a large baking sheet and roast for 15 - 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, dried tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa and mix well. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl and gently mix them in. Top with crumbled feta cheese.
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