Balsamic Quinoa and Roasted Pine Nut Salad

July 25, 2016

Happy Monday!

I hope your weekend was a good one. I worked at the store all weekend, which was fun, but I also miss out on family time.

I don’t have a lot of my own recipes on the blog because frankly I am not creative enough to come up with new ones; I am much better at following a recipe. But every once in a great while I find a little creativity and come up with something quite delicious!

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Last week, I needed to make a side dish to go with our dinner. I decided I was going to use quinoa as the base because I always have a huge bag of it from Costco. I also knew I wanted to use the fresh basil from our garden, as well as some pine nuts we had at home. (When I am looking for a recipe to make, most of the time I consider what I already have on-hand and what needs to be used up.)

I then Googled: quinoa + basil + pine nuts to see what came up. Most of the recipes I found I didn’t have all of the ingredients, and I’m not one to drive to the store for just a couple items. I will often sub ingredients out for others, but it drives Craig crazy! If he follows a recipe, he has to have every single item otherwise he won’t make it. (Maybe that’s why he rarely follows a recipe to begin with.)

So instead of following a recipe, I decided I would make something else up myself, and I came up with this quinoa dish with a balsamic vinegar dressing with fresh tomatoes, savory goat cheese, and a nice helping of fresh basil.

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Balsamic Quinoa and Roasted Pine Nut Salad

Serves: 4 as a side

Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa

1-1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup feta

1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade cut

Directions

  1. Combine water, quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a jar with a lid, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper and shake to combine.
  3. Roast pine nuts in a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir frequently and cook until lightly browned.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cooked quinoa, pine nuts, tomato, onion, feta, and fresh basil. Pour olive oil dressing over everything and fold together.

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I hope you enjoy this summery salad! I was hoping to check out a new park with Cullen this morning, but it is raining again today. We might still take Sadie for a walk in the rain because neither of them will care. Afterwards maybe we’ll go to the coffee shop or the library to warm up.

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