I love the fresh summer flavors of a classic Caprese salad- tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, maybe a pinch of salt and a glug of good quality olive oil.
So one day, a few years back, as I peered into the fridge and rifled through the pantry, trying to gain some inspiration as to what to bring to a friend’s summer barbecue, I spotted the tomatoes on the counter- and looked to the quinoa in the cupboard and decided to experiment. That little experiment became my go-to barbecue addition- my quinoa caprese(ish) salad.
With all the classic caprese components, tossed with cooked and cooled quinoa, zesty lemon juice and spicy arugula, it’s fresh, it’s flavorful and it’s delicious as a main or a side (and with simple ingredients, it’s uncomplicated and easy to throw together quickly for a party!).
Feel free to sub spinach for the arugula, and don’t skimp on the olive oil- you want it to be well-coated for texture.
Quinoa Caprese Salad
Serves 6 as a side or 4-5 as a main
- 3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1 8-oz container ciliegine (small mozarella balls), halved
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 tbsp olive oil (more as needed)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
- 2 packed cups baby arugula
- sea salt, to taste
- balsamic glaze
- Combine quinoa with mozzarella balls, lemon juice, olive oil, grape tomatoes, basil, arugula and a good pinch of salt.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes before tasting. Season to taste and drizzle with balsamic glaze.