I’m a multi-use, try not to throw things away, reinvent your leftovers as something else, sort of cook. Once I create a sauce or dressing I like to think up multiple ways to use it. This means I can make a foundational sauce/dressing at the beginning of the week (or on Sunday when things are a bit more quiet) and then cook two or three other things during the week that rely on the leftovers of what I made on Sunday. This particular salad recipe makes three cups of dressing. You will need slightly less than half of it for the Quinoa Salad outlined here. The dressing will keep in your fridge for a full week. Use it on a second salad, toss it with pasta OR put aside 1 cup and try my recipe for Red Quinoa Cakes with Zucchini (coming up next on this blog). The link will activate once the post is up. I have no idea how we survived as a family without quinoa. We eat it constantly. I hope they discover some other long lost grain that will replace quinoa whenever it is that we finally go into irreparable quinoa overload.
Red Quinoa Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing and Fresh Tomatoes (makes 8 servings)
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper (You can roast the pepper yourself or buy a canned or jarred one. I used a REALLY big one – if your jar is full of puny roasted bell peppers use TWO).
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 small Vidalia or Maui onion, coarsely chopped
- 8 large leaves of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup tomato sauce
- One 8-oz jar oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained (don’t throw out the oil)
- ¼ cup plain Greek Yogurt (we used nonfat)
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup of the reserved olive oil from the sundried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups red quinoa, prepared according to package instructions/should make about three cups of prepared quinoa
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes (we used heirloom cherry tomatoes)
- ½ cup sliced fresh basil
Process the first seven ingredients in a blender until smooth. Remove and place in a medium mixing bowl. Process the remaining dressing ingredients in your blender until smooth. Whisk the second set of ingredients into the first set. Set aside 1½ cups of the dressing. Place the remaining dressing in the fridge to use for a second recipe (or try the Red Quinoa Cakes).
Toss the red quinoa, tomatoes, and fresh basil with 1¼ cups of the dressing. Taste. Add additional dressing if you feel you need it.