Make Ahead

Black Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Basil, Feta and Pine Nuts

March 21, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8 as a side dish
Author Notes

You don’t have to use grilled vegetables in this salad. If you like the idea of the zucchini and the eggplant but don’t feel like firing up the grill, you could roast them instead. Or you could use chopped tomatoes, cucumber, peppers…lots of combinations would work here, and they’d all be delicious. Quinoa seeds are naturally coated with a bitter substance that needs to be removed; you can easily accomplish this by putting your quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinsing thoroughly with warm water before cooking. For this quinoa salad, you cook the quinoa using 1 cup quinoa to two cups water. Bring to a boil in a small pot on the stove, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook until water is absorbed. Quinoa cooks fast, so this only takes about 15 minutes; when it is done cooking, turn the heat off but leave it covered for another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.


What You'll Need
  • Salad
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 cup raw black quinoa, cooked to equal approximately 4 cups cooked quinoa, and then cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
  • approximately 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I like French feta made with sheep’s milk)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted for a minute or so in a hot skillet
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar or honey
  1. Preheat your grill. Sliced the eggplant and zucchini and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in grill basket over high heat and grill until tender. Remove and allow to cool before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine the chopped grilled vegetables with the cooked quinoa and the basil in a large bowl. Add most of the crumbled feta cheese. Mix well.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and then pour over the salad. Mix well and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  4. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and the rest of the feta. You can sprinkle a little more basil on top too, if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bluejade
  • iva
  • testkitchenette
  • gingerroot
  • hardlikearmour
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.

7 Reviews

Rattatouille82 June 13, 2012
Had some grilled veggies left over and black quinoa on hand so I decided to try this recipe. I turned wonderfully with peppered feta and a little homemade basil added drizzled on top. I also added fresh tomatoes and baby cucumbers for more freshness. Thanks!
JKF I. July 2, 2011
I made this with farro and goat cheese (as I had them on hand) and it was delicious! I have moved away from pignole because they're ridiculously expensive -- $44 a pound in Manhattan! Slivered almonds work just fine!
Bluejade May 26, 2011
Another great quinoa recipe. I mixed black and red quinoa and that seemed fine. I had bought a small eggplant, imported from Holland, that was perfect for this recipe. The eggplant added a nice texture. I think I probably substituted a chopped onion for the zucchini. This was good on the next day, too. Thanks!
iva April 10, 2011
This was an amazing dish. I made it as main course for a casual dinner and it was lovely. Would have also been nice as a meal at a (dinner) party. Thanks for the recipe! Will be making it again for sure.
testkitchenette March 27, 2011
I made this yesterday for a potluck and was the toast of the covered dish toting people. Thanks, I will be making it over and over again!
gingerroot March 22, 2011
What a lovely salad!
hardlikearmour March 22, 2011
This dish is right up my alley. You've really been rockin' with your recipes this week!