Out of the garden and into your kitchen, this herbed tomato and quinoa salad with grilled corn makes it easy to get your delicious summer produce fix.
This herbed tomato and quinoa salad with grilled corn has your back. It represents summer at its best and requires little time in the kitchen. Sprinkled with a touch of flaky sea salt and a squeeze of grilled lemon, zucchini ribbons dressed in creamy, vegan pesto lay atop a bed of protein-packed quinoa. Sungold and cherry tomatoes roasted with a bit of agave and garlic complement fresh off the vine, heirloom and cherry tomatoes. Grilled corn, sweet nectarines, freshly snipped basil and dill blossoms bring this summer salad full-circle. Magic is made when it all comes together!
There aren’t many dishes as pure and simple as this summer salad. Perhaps it’s the fresh, heirlooms, bursting with bright, tangy flavor and marinated with a little olive oil and sea salt. Or the sweet, garlic roasted cherry tomatoes that make this salad special. I’d like to think it’s a little of both.
Then there’s the crisp, grilled sweet corn that unveils a caramelized, smoky flavor, and the shaved zucchini all dressed up in a creamy, vegan pesto. Delicious all on its own, the pesto could be eaten entirely with a spoon. But it’s much more suited for smothering on top of grain-based salads like this one.
Sweet, beautiful nectarines give the salad a little extra freshness and pair beautifully with the tomatoes. When it all comes together, this herbed tomato and quinoa salad with grilled corn gives your plate an “out of the garden and onto your table” vibe that showcases some of the best herbs and produce summer has to offer!
Here’s to a plate of quintessential summer eating!
2 cups of cooked quinoa (cook quinoa to package directions)
2 ears of grilled corn (kernels removed from the cob)
1 nectarine, thinly sliced and pit removed
optional toppings: pine nuts, dill blossoms, fresh basil, grilled lemon slices (optional for topping)
2 cups fresh basil, packed
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Make the pesto. Place all pesto ingredients in a high-speed food processor and whirl away until blended. Add salt to taste as needed. Set aside.
Slice the heirloom tomato into quarters and half of the cherry tomatoes in half. Set them aside in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil, one clove of crushed garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Toss well to coat.
Add the other half of the cherry tomatoes to a small bowl and leave whole. Add agave nectar, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until the tomatoes start to caramelize. Remove from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool.
While tomatoes are cooling bring and a large pot of salted water to a boil and add ice and cool water to a medium-sized bowl (set aside). Prepare the zucchini.
Chop the ends off of the zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into ribbons. Place the zucchini in boiling water for 30 seconds. Do not overcook or zucchini will become soft and mushy! Drain the zucchini well and immediately add to ice water. Allow to cool for 1 minute in the ice water. Remove zucchini ribbons and set aside to dry. Lightly dab excess water with a clean cloth. Add 2 tbsp of pesto to the ribbons and lightly toss to coat.
Divide the quinoa among plates and top with grilled corn, zucchini ribbons, roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh heirloom and cherry tomatoes, nectarine slices, basil, dill, pine nuts and grilled lemon, sea salt and grilled lemon as desired. Dollop more pesto on top and enjoy!