I first had this Quinoa Salad in Spain. We were in a small village with my husband for the weekend and I decided to have lunch outside while he was surfing. I ordered a quinoa salad with grilled vegetables as recommended by the waiter. I have to say I wasn’t too much into quinoa at that time, but it was a warm day and it felt like a good option. But I was so happy I did. It was the best quinoa salad I had in my life. I have tried since then recreating at home many times. I have never reached the same perfection, but the recipe I am sharing below is what comes closer to what I had that beautiful day in Spain.
Going to Spain?
If you happen to be in South of Spain, there is a little town by the beach called Conil de la Frontera. It is so small you might not think of going there. But you will actually find a lot of great restaurants there. I had some of the best food while in Conil.
There is a tiny restaurant, hidden in a very small street that I absolutely love called “El escondito de Conil”. They only have a few tables outside, with colorful glasses and plates, flowers and candles. It is my favorite place to go for dinner. I tried it first with my girlfriends and we had a wonderful night there. I then took my husband there a year later and it was just as I remembered, and so romantic for a date night. He is very picky when it comes to dining out and loves it.
Now back to my Quinoa Salad that has nothing to do with this restaurant.
How to prepare the Quinoa Salad
I mix roasted veggies (zucchinis and eggplants) and fresh one (tomatoes and cucumber). The mix of texture and taste is very nice.
You can eat this salad slightly warm or cold. I recommend adding the roasted veggies at the last minute to preserve their full taste. Otherwise, they will just absorb the vinaigrette and it will just not be as good.
Regarding the feta, you can use regular feta or vegan feta (which I just discovered as I had vegan friends for dinner and is surprisingly quite similar to the real one).
I add pomegranate as the last touch for décor. I really like the contrast of color it adds. You may also play with cherry tomatoes (which was what they add done when I first try this salad in the restaurant) but I was out of them.
See recipe below! I’d love to have your feedback! Enjoy!
Quinoa Salad with roasted veggies
- 250 g quinoa 1.5 cup
- 1 zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- Cherry tomatoes
- 4 Persian cucumber
- Feta or Vegan feta
- Olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon
- Balsamic glaze
- 2 cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 395F.
- Dice eggplant and zucchinis, add them into a bowl with a large drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix them until evenly coated and toss on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- While doing that, slice tomatoes in two (if cherry tomatoes or dice if you are using regular tomatoes) and dice cucumber.
- Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and vinegar together. Add salt and pepper.
- Mix together the tomatoes, cucumber and vinaigrette. Reserve in the fridge.
- Cook the quinoa as instructed on the packaging or for about 12 minutes (you don’t want it to be mushy, it should still be a little crunchy).
- Once quinoa and roasted veggies are cooked, let everything cool down.
- Mix quinoa with tomatoes and cucumber. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- At the last minute add the roasted veggies and feta (if you had them to early, the roasted veggies will drink the vinaigrette and won’t be as good).
- Decorate with pomegranate seeds if you want.
- For extra yumminess (I forgot it at the time I took the picture) drizzle with balsamic glaze.