On Sunday, I prepared a large Italian style family dinner for my roommates and friends! My roommates adorable girlfriend requested a light, pasta salad, I had already been thinking about making a caprese salad, so I combined the two in this Quinoa Caprese Salad!
I substituted quinoa for pasta to add protein to the dish, while still remaining vegetarian and making the dish gluten-free!
This salad is the perfect side dish with dinner, but is also filling enough to eat for lunch alone!
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- ½ cup red onion (fine dice)
- ½ cup red bell pepper (fine dice)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella (cubes)
Begin by bringing the quinoa to a boil with 2 cups of water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In the mean time, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, add the red onion and bell pepper.
Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup olive oil, basil, parsley, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Whisk well, then add the sautéd onion, bell pepper and garlic.
Add the tomatoes to the dressing.
Place the tomatoes in the refrigerator to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
Add the cooked quinoa and mozzarella the tomatoes.
Toss well and serve!
I can’t wait to serve this salad at summer BBQ’s, so light, refreshing and delicious!