Quinoa And Nectarine Salad With Basil And Feta
Looking for a way to work more fruits and veggies into your diet? This quinoa and nectarine salad works overtime, packing in delicious field greens, juicy nectarines, and protein-packed quinoa to create a delicious main or side dish.
You know those recipes that seem so natural and effortlessly simple that you wonder how on earth it took you so long to pull the flavors together? This is just such a recipe. And one that happened completely on accident, out of necessity.
A few weeks ago we had some family in town and decided to throw a last minute BBQ for them. We also happened to be heading to the mountains that following weekend so I was trying to use up some of our produce, and that is how this salad was born. I took stock of what we had (waayyy too many nectarines and a lot of basil and feta), added in a few pantry staples (sliced almonds, quinoa) threw together a quick citrus dressing and that’s it – it was done!
I threw it all atop a mess of spring mix (arugula could also work well here) and it was the perfect summery salad that I never knew I needed – light, but filling, and stocked with all the flavors of summer (is it summer already?)– basil, nectarines and lemon. The quinoa, almonds and cheese add a bit of weight to the salad to easily make it a light main dish if you wish, or a substantial side.
It’s a great vegetarian dish (or vegan, if you cut the cheese). Or, if you’d like to make it a main, add some grilled chicken and you’ve got yourself a meal.
We ate this on our back porch, the sun setting, Rosé sparkling, lights twinkling, tunes blazing, surrounded by loving family, and I just felt one thing: ahhhhh…..summer has finally arrived.
You’ll thank yourself when you make this salad. And then you’ll wonder how it was that you never thought of it earlier.
(Serves 6 - 8 as a side.)
5 large handfuls of greens (I used spring mix, but arugula would work well here too)
1/2 cup torn basil
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 nectarines, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup Feta cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Toss the greens and basil together in a large bowl.
Add the quinoa, sliced nectarines, almonds and feta cheese
In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.