Once again, like clockwork, summer has arrived. And I mean with a bang. A 40 degree bang! Not sure how I feel about that with no where to hide. No chilled air conditioned rooms to crawl away into during the mid day furnace. No freezer big enough to squeeze into. Not even a cold floor to lay on. Just hot, like baking hot.
This too will pass as it always does. Everyone will crawl our of their sun soaked houses in hopes for cooler temperatures. In the meantime, we just sit by a fan and wait.
As for dinner, what dinner? It is seriously too hot to even consider food, cooking and honestly even eating. Making a sandwich yesterday seemed like somewhat of a colossal effort. Today as the temps have dipped a few degrees, I was able to put together this very yummy salad. Yes, it does require the oven. I left the kitchen during that stage and returned long enough to take out the vegetables and turn that thing off.
Great hot or cold, this salad could be one to keep in mind for summer barbecues and pot lucks alike.
So what does one do when the temps reach 40 degrees? I will tell you, nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
I consider myself alchemized to the southern Spanish heat. After 20 years, I feel more comfortable in flip flops than a parka. But folks, I gotta' draw the line somewhere and I think that is somewhere below 40 friggin' degree. And I mean in shade taken properly, not on a sun drenched patio, or near metal shutters, on the scorching pavement or in the windscreen of a car. No, in the the coolest place possible, the shade. Still how does it manage to say that number?
In the meantime, today with it being a wee bit cooler, I was able to hit the kitchen. This salad is full of flavour and so easy to put together. I have it in the fridge right now waiting for dinner. Easy. The flavour comes from the whole combo of roasted veggies, fresh tomatoes, basil and delicious mozzarella. What more could you ask for in a salad! Put something on the grill and you are all set for an easy dinner on a scorcher of a day.
Happy cooking friends! For those of you in my neck of the woods, stay cool!
Summer Quinoa Salad
Serves 6 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour
1 Cup/185 grams quinoa
2 Cups/480 ml Vegetable stock
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Yellow pepper, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
2 Tomatoes, diced
Small bunch fresh chopped basil
1 Ball fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put all the peppers on a roasting tin. Drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle over a little salt. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the vegetables are roasting, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir for about 2 minutes. Add all the stock, reduce heat to low and cover. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
After the quinoa has cooled for a few minutes, use a fork to start separating it. Start from the top and work downwards until you have all the quinoa fluffed up and separated.
Transfer the quinoa to a large serving dish. Add the roasted vegetables, tomatoes, spring onions and basil. Stir to combine. Add the fresh mozzarella and gently stir.
Can be served immediately or refrigerated for later and served cold.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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