So my college roomie, Maggie, sent me a link the other day to a blog post that had two recipes one it, both involving strawberries, watermelon, and basil. This may seem like an odd flavor combo to some, but it really is one of the best! Swap watermelon or strawberries in place of tomatoes in a caprese salad and you won’t be sorry – I promise! They all have similar flavors, the fruits being sweeter though (obviously…I’m blowing your mind here, I know), which really just makes the basil flavor explode! So, so good…
So anyway, after talking about this recipe with her for a few days and accidentally clicking on it three different times on pinterest, I decided it was time to give it a try.
I didn’t have any watermelon, but I had some beautiful fresh, local strawberries and some of my all-time favorite local goat cheese that I’d picked up at the market, so I adapted a little and it turned out SO good!! I have a feeling I’ll be making this a lot this summer!
STRAWBERRY BASIL QUINOA SALAD – inspired by edible perspective
Serves 2 as a main OR 4-5 as a side
1 (dry) cup quinoa – I actually used a mix of farro & quinoa
2 cups water + pinch of salt
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 small container**, or 1/2 large container of fresh strawberries – sliced thinly
**(That’s a really exact measurement, I know, I know. I guess I used about 1.5 cups once they were all cut up? But you could do as little or as much as you wanted!)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil – cut into thin ribbons, or “chiffonade” for all you pros out there
your favorite balsamic vinegar – I used an espresso balsamic and it was AWESOME!
1 – Bring 2 cups water + pinch of salt to a boil. Whisk in your quinoa, let it return to a boil then turn it down to a simmer and cover. Cook according to directions (mine was “10 minute quinoa” but some require more time). Basically, you want the water to absorb but don’t let it burn on the bottom.
2 – Meanwhile, if you haven’t cut up your strawberries or basil, now is a good time do that. Already did that? Congratulations! Pour yourself a celebratory glass of wine for making the least difficult dinner ever!
3 – Once your quinoa is cooked, I’d suggest transferring it into a mixing bowl to let it cool for a bit (this is better at room temperature, or cold). Now where’s your wine glass….
4 – Combine your cooked quinoa, olive oil, strawberries and a little salt + freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Throw in your goat cheese….keep tossin’…..and lastly throw in your basil.
Serve with a heavy drizzle of your favorite balsamic on top (or you can add it ahead of time…it just looks prettier that way). And DON’T YOU SKIP THIS STEP! The balsamic totally brings the flavors all together. We can all thank Maggie for that suggestion!
This was seriously the easiest thing ever. It made a really satisfying dinner last night, and a great lunch for today! The good thing about this type of salad is how versatile it is. You could substitute feta, mozzarella, or burrata for the goat cheese. You could throw some fresh mint in there if you haven’t killed your mint plant like I have. And of course, like the recipe that inspired this, you could add some watermelon!
Ahhhhhh, summer recipes…you’re such a welcome change from all the greens and root veggies I’ve been eating all winter! Can’t wait to take this recipe to a cookout! 🙂
Have a Happy Tuesday, y’all!