With summer right around the corner, we are all starting to look forward to some fun and sun at the beach. Every summer we spend some time in the Hamptons, NY. So much has been written about the Hamptons (the good, the bad, the ugly), but for me, I really enjoy the family time, beautiful days at the beach and wonderful food. They have amazing farm stands every few miles (some closer than that) and each one has something special to offer. One of our favorite farm stands is Balsams in Amagansett. They have the very best corn, plus beautiful, fragrant, ripe fresh fruits and vegetables. We load up our baskets with zucchini, tomatoes, peaches, basil, and peppers (corn gets it’s own basket because we buy about 20 cobs at a time). One of our favorite salads to make is a vegetable packed quinoa. It’s a perfect side for a picnic lunch at the beach or any backyard BBQ. Cindy, who helps take care of my kids, has been hard at work to perfect this salad (we’ve been cooking side by side for the past 7 years). I thought we should call it Hamptons Quinoa Salad, but she thinks Quinoa Pilaf works better. Whatever the name, this salad is a winner!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, small dice
8-10 oz.mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, small dice
1/2 yellow pepper, small dice
1 zucchini, small dice
3-4 kale leaves, rib removed and small chopped
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 bunch basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Heat a medium sized skillet and add the oil. When hot, saute the onions 1-2 minutes (don’t brown). Then add the mushrooms, peppers and zucchini and lightly saute. Add the kale until just wilted. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. In a large bowl add the quinoa, cooked vegetables, and basil. Slowly add in some of the vinaigrette. Taste, season, and serve.
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