Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables & Fresh Mozzarella

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I think the new go-to pot luck dish for picnics and summer parties should be a quinoa salad.  I’m serious. It is so easy to make, delicious and healthy – and perhaps you can convert a quinoa skeptic to a believer!

I made this for the kids birthday party – however, I made it again this week for this post and was able to improve it by the simple addition of a garlic-mustard vinaigrette.  The party batch just had fresh lemon and olive oil as the dressing and was very good, but the garlic-mustard combo really wakes this dish up.

I keep a mixture of red and white quinoa in a container – you can use either, there is no discernible taste difference.

I had the kids help out making this – the put the cut veggies on the sheet pan, stirred the dressing and if your kids are good with directions, have them tear up the mozzarella. No guarantees this will get them to try it – I had a 1/3 success rate on trying – but it will get them comfortable with the ingredients and perhaps one day, in the far away future, they will eat this with as much joy as I did.

It is also a great side dish to keep in the fridge for the week and serve along side some fish, chicken, etc.

roasted veg mozz quinoa salad (1 of 1)

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables & Fresh Mozzarella
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends cut off, rest cut into 1/2″ to 1″ pieces
  • 1-2 bunches of broccoli (want about equal amounts asparagus and broccoli) cut into small pieces – include some stem pieces, they are tasty also!
  • 3-4 shallots sliced into 1/4″ rings
  • 1/2 ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into small pieces
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) garlic clove crushed and chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Oven to 400 – on a large sheet pan combine asparagus, broccoli, shallots – drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat everything. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Into oven – after 10 minutes stir, check again in 10 minutes and pieces should start getting brown and crispy – that is what you are looking for. Remove and allow to cool – can dump into large bowl to cool or leave them on sheet pan. They cool fairly fast.
  2. While veggies roasting, cook quinoa – 1 cup plus 2 cups water in a pot over medium high heat. I keep it at an active simmer until water is just about absorbed. Then I turn off heat and put a lid on it and let it finish that way. You can also just simmer until completely done and rinse in a fine mesh strainer with cold water to stop the cooking.
  3. Combine mustard, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper and stir or whisk together.
  4. In a bowl combine quinoa, cooled veggies, mozzarella – toss that all together and then pour dressing over all of that. Stir to distribute dressing throughout. All done!

roasted veg mozz quinoa salad2 (1 of 1)

 

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