Quinoa, an ancient “grain” native to South America, is power-packed with protein! All nine essential amino acids necessary for tissue growth and repair are found in quinoa which makes it perfect for a dinner-worthy salad! Chef Eric Bauer of Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa shares his recipe for a dinner-worthy Toasted Quinoa and Seasonal Vegetable Salad!
Toasted Quinoa and Seasonal Vegetable Salad
1 part quinoa
2 parts water
Salt to taste
1 bouquet garni (1 ounce fresh thyme, 6 bay leaves and 1 Tablespoon black peppercorn tied in a cheesecloth)
1. In a sauce pot, combine quinoa, water, salt and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 18 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Strain excess liquid and set aside in a container to cool.
Roasted Tomato Sherry Dressing
10 Roma tomatoes
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
3 ounces Dijon mustard
2 ounces shallot, minced
1 ounce thyme, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash tomatoes, remove core, slice in half.
2. Place halved tomatoes, skin side up, on sheet tray and place in oven for 20-25 minutes until outer skin of tomato is deeply browned.
3. Let tomatoes cool completely. Combine all ingredients, except oil, and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
4. Continue to blend, incorporating oil in a steady stream until dressing is fully emulsified. Set aside.
Putting it all together
3 ounces butter lettuce
2 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 1/2 ounces Roasted Tomato Sherry Dressing (see above)
3 ounces toasted quinoa (see above)
1 Tablespoon cranberry
1 ounce asparagus, blanched
1 ounce zucchini, sautéed
1 ounce roasted peppers
Salt and black pepper to taste
7 Harissa marinated shrimp
1. In a mixing bowl, combine butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes and 1 ounce of tomato sherry dressing. Toss together well, thoroughly coating the greens.
2. In another mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 ounces of tomato sherry dressing, toasted quinoa, cranberry, asparagus, zucchini, roasted peppers, salt and pepper. Toss together.
3. Present butter lettuce and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl, stacking lettuce leaves to create height in the center. Place quinoa and vegetable mix over butter lettuce and arrange some of the colorful ingredients on top.
4. Grill harissa marinated shrimp until just cooked through and place on top of salad.
For even more dinner-worthy salads click here!
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