Out of all the salads I’ve made this warm weather season this is by far the first to really sum up summer. Local peaches, local sunburst cherry tomatoes, local greens, local goat cheese, and fresh herbs from my garden. I could eat this all day long! I also made a batch of pickled red onions to mix in and some baked tempeh for a little more protein.
I prepared the pickled onions a day in advance so they would have time to marinate and of course Josh happened to walk in the house as I was making them. Boiled apple cider vinegar fumes were throughout the house and he immediately put up his hesitation. My timing in making them was a bit off but I went ahead with the dish anyway. We’ve already covered his distaste for balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar is included in this mix. But the salad needed some sort of acid and I always use lemon juice so I wanted to go a different route. In the end I used less onions in the dish and added more to my personal plate. Once everything was mixed and chilled the flavor was mellow and Josh gave his approval. He even took some leftovers for lunch.
Tomato and Peach Quinoa Salad
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into thin 1″ long slices
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 peaches, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1 pint sunburst cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 oz goat cheese, I used Haystack Mountain applewood smoked chèvre
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
- garlic vinaigrette, I used Annie’s roasted garlic
- greens, I used local baby romaine
- Pickle red onions. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the onion and blanch for 30 seconds. Rinse with cool water and drain well. Place onions in a glass mason jar. Bring the apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Pour over onions and marinate at least 30 minutes. I chose to make mine a day ahead.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Slice tempeh into strips. I also slice mine lengthwise for thin strips. Marinate in a few tablespoons of the garlic vinaigrette for 20 minutes. Bake in a single layer parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes. Flip and bake another 10 minutes. Chop into 1″ squares once cooled and set aside.
- Meanwhile cook quinoa. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add a splash of olive oil and a dash of salt. Stir in quinoa, turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes. Once done remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff and allow to cool while covered. (I always give the exact amount of liquid prescribed but due to the altitude I use less for dry fluffy quinoa).
- In a large bowl mix the cooled quinoa, peaches, tomatoes, lightly crumbled goat cheese, olive oil, basil, rosemary, s&p, tempeh, and pickled onions. If desired add some of the pickled onion brine. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
- Serve over a bed of lightly dressed greens. I used the garlic vinaigrette.