Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon vinaigrette
On Wednesdays and Saturdays I try to make it to the Santa Monica Farmers Market, and not just because they have lots of free samples. They have organic and local fruits vegetables, beautiful flowers and local restaurants at set up stands. This veggie quinoa salad is one my favorite meals to make after going to the farmers market because it is an easy fresh farm to table meal perfect for summer. Walking up and down the aisles of stands always inspires me. One of my favorite things to do is follow the people who are buying ingredients for restaurants (you can always tell by the large quantities they’re carrying), they have an eye for the freshest items. I like to try to catch the name of the restaurant they work for, it’s always nice to know when a restaurant is buying locally plus it gives you a connection to the food there.
For the quinoa:
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked white quinoa
For the honey lemon vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
For the vegetables:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium Roma tomato, cored and diced
2 green onions, sliced
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
For the quinoa:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the quinoa, and cook covered on medium-low heat until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, then return to the pan and fluff with a fork. Cover the quinoa and set aside.
For the Honey Lemon dressing:
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
For the Vegetables:
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, zucchini and corn and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped tomato and sliced green onion.
In a large bowl combine the quinoa, vegetables and vinaigrette stirring to coat all the ingredients evenly. Add half of the feta cheese and stir to combine.
To serve: Top with the remaining feta cheese and parsley. Serve either warm or cold.
Serves 8 to 10 as a side salad.