Well guys, the DC heat is here. We had a cold, wet spring and then as usual DC leapt from cold to brutally hot and humid. While I can't help but be annoyed by the heat, the one thing I look forward to is seasonal veggies - there is nothing like eating a fresh, cool salad when the heat is too much to bear.
My sister just gave me the Ottolenghi cookbook, Plenty, which is has a myriad of delicious vegetable recipes. One of my favorite recipes so far is a quinoa and sourdough salad that is light, summery, and the perfect recipe for tomato season. Kyle and I have been making it for dinner (it has some carbs to keep you full), but it makes the perfect side salad as well.
Ottolenghi's Quinoa and Grilled Sourdough Salad
- 1/4 cup of quinoa
- 4 slices of sourdough bread
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- salt to taste
- 4 ripe tomatoes, medium size
- 3 small cucumbers
- 1/2 small red onion
- 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped mint
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced or crushed
- black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. While your oven is heating, cook the quinoa in a saucepan of boiling water until it is tender, around 9 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, drain it and put it to the side to let it cool and dry.
Once the oven is hot, place the bread slices on a baking pan and brush each slice with olive oil on both sides. Place the slices in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping the slices half way through. Once the bread is crisp and dry, remove it from the oven and put it aside to cool.
While the bread and quinoa are cooling, dice the tomatoes and cut the cucumbers into 3/4 inch pieces. Place the cucumbers and tomatoes in a bowl. Thinly slice the red onion and add it to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the quinoa and toss. Once tossed, break the bread into chunks by hand and add it to the salad. Toss the salad again and taste, adding salt and pepper as necessary to season.
Serve and enjoy.