As I'm writing this post, the thunder, lightning and rain is slowly coming after a very hot few days filled with music festivals, friends & fun. I love stormy summer nights and the freshness it brings.
This is my favorite salad for summertime, and the one I usually make for potlucks and picnics. That's what I brought yesterday to a summer night at a friend's place chillin' by the pool with a great sunset. This super fresh, healthy, full of flavors salad with a crunchy taste is perfect for vegetarians or as a side dish. I'm a huge fan of quinoa, a seed (looks like a grain but is actually a seed from South America in the Andes region- a very ancient seed once called "The Gold of The Incas"). It's a complete protein, which contains all the 9 amino acids, it is very high in fibers, iron, magnesium and with lots of nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties. Very refreshing for a summer night.
All you need:
- 1/2 english cucumber
- 2 red peppers
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 5-10 Cherry tomatoes
- Mint leaves
- Extra Virgin Olive or walnut oil
- Lemon juice
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/400°F, place your red peppers cut in half (remove the stem and seeds) on a baking sheet with a little olive oil on top, the skin side up, roast them for 20-25 minutes or when ready with dark spots. Then, you can take the skin off (better to digest), and cut in slices. (You can also put them in a ziploc bag for 10 minutes, which will make it even easier to take the skin off). Set aside in a dish. You can add some olive oil and herbs to marinate. It will bring more flavor to your salad.
- Rinse well your quinoa before cooking. Cook it in water for 12 minutes. When ready, put it in the fridge to cool down while preparing the rest of the salad.
- Crumble your feta cheese in a bowl.
- Peel & dice the cucumber. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Add herbs & mint leaves
- Drizzle with olive/walnut oil and lemon juice
Happy summer (heatwave) day!