quinoa salad with balsamic vinegrette

I’ve never related more to a tweet than “just marinate me in balsamic vinegar.” Whether it’s used in a reduction to drizzle over goat cheese pizza or used as a dressing for one of my favorite salads, balsamic vinegar is one of the most versatile ingredients I always have on hand. It’s aggressive, savory, and extremely flavorful. This dressing is my go to salad dressing and can be used in almost any simple salad, but especially delicious with arugula, roasted walnuts, fresh pear, and feta cheese.

I made this dish recently for lunch when I vacationed in Rehoboth Beach this past weekend with two of my best friends, April and Julianna. This was perfect for our busy beach day, because we whipped up the salad and packed it for a healthy yet filling meal. And boy did we need that after the excessive amounts of frozen custard and fries we ate from the boardwalk!

With any recipe that only requires a few ingredients and isn’t “cooked” at all, always remember to go fresh. If you can, go to your local Farmer’s Market and buy the freshest tomatoes, basil and mozzarella you can. You’ll thank me later.

IMG_6243

my lovely best friends, Julianna and April! 

Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar*

1 teaspoon of sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sugar into a small mason or jam jar
  2. Fasten the lid and vigorously shake for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the liquids have emulsified
  3. Season with salt to taste

*splurge a little when buying your balsamic vinegar and get a good quality brand; it makes a huge delicious difference!*

Quiona Salad

(serves 3)

*1 batch of Basic Balsamic Dressing

1/2 box of quinoa

2 tomatoes

1/2 of a red onion

1/2 a ball to 1 full ball of fresh mozzarella

1/2 cup of loosely packed fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions
  2. While quinoa is cooking, chop the tomatoes and mozzarella into 1 inch pieces, and the onions into a fine dice
  3. Roughly tear the basil into small pieces
  4. In a medium bowl mix the mozzarella, tomatoes, onions, and basil with the Balsamic Vinaigrette. Let them marinate in the vinaigrette
  5. Take the quinoa off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes
  6. Mix the quinoa with the vegetables and season with salt to taste

*Depending on how strong you want the balsamic flavor to be start out with using half of the amount of the vinaigrette. Then add more till you find your perfect level of savory yet sweet  goodness!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. The salad looks so fresh and colorful. Yummy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ro says:

      Thank you so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this Ro 🙂 the vinegrette sounds amazing 🙂

    Like

    1. Ro says:

      Thanks so much Lynne!!

      Like

  3. I don’t know what the dots in the pictures are, but I found them at the store and they’re great! They were running low on the vegetables so I just substituted them with veggie straws – still works! Would recommend this to a friend/enemy.

    Like

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