MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD WITH ROASTED SUMMER VEGETABLES

This fresh Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe features summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, basil and mint! It’s light, healthy and delicious. Recipe yields 2 large servings or 4 side servings. It makes for great leftovers, so feel free to double the recipe!



INGREDIENTS
  • ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (or 1 cup cooked quinoa)
  • 1 small eggplant (about ¾ pound), diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small yellow squash (or another zucchini), diced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ cup halved grape tomatoes (quarter any larger tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • For garnish: crumbled feta, optional

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Divide the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash between the two baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss. Add a little more if necessary; you want enough to lightly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the veggies are softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool.
  3. To cook the quinoa, combine the uncooked quinoa with ⅔ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.
  4. To toast the pine nuts, cook them in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they’re turning lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  5. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify the mixture. Add the tomatoes, quinoa, basil, mint, roasted vegetables and pine nuts, and gently stir to combine. Season generously with salt, pepper and maybe another squeeze of lemon, to taste. Garnish with crumbled feta, if you’d like. Serve at room temperature.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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