Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad
Let’s start the week off with a super pretty salad. A super pretty salad that I love so much and have made maybe a wee bit too often lately. To the point where my husband groans when he sees it on the kitchen counter and says something along the lines of “again, really???” Yes really.
Clearly he doesn’t get caught up in food obsessions like I do. But then I just stare him down and remind him that if I’m cooking, I’m picking. Works like a charm every time.
So, let’s clear something up. Do you have to use tri-colored quinoa in this salad? Absolutely not. But I’m insane and firmly believe that it tastes better than regular quinoa. I’ve always claimed that I’m not really the biggest fan of quinoa – I’ll eat it if I have to but I wouldn’t buy it on my own.
But this tri-color business? For some reason I love it. Maybe because it’s pretty? Does this make sense? Probably not. But it’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. And it does taste better. Yes, yes it does.
I also noted in the recipe down below that the balsamic glaze is optional for drizzling, but just trust me and do it. Do it do it do it. You can make your own or just buy it at the store. Either way, it takes this salad to a different level of awesomeness. Or you can just not use it (the salad does still taste great) but then you can’t be part of the cool kids club. Your choice : )
And now I want to make this salad again. I can feel my husband rolling his eyes at me all the way from work.
- 1 cup uncooked tri-colored quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- balsamic glaze, for drizzling (optional)
- Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, give it a stir, cover, then reduce the heat to medium-low / low and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the pan sit covered for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.
- Lightly pat the mozzarella balls dry with a paper towel, slice in half, then add to the bowl with the quinoa. Add in the cucumber, strawberries and basil. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Pour into the bowl with the quinoa and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or you can let the salad chill in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld together even more.
- Drizzle with some of the balsamic glaze right before serving.
Cookie Monster Cooking