good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Quinoa and Kale Salad with Grilled Veggies

This past weekend was a hot and humid one. Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t deal with the heat. I complain non-stop to anyone who will listen. Add humidity on top of that and it’s a recipe for a very cranky and miserable me (and everyone around). Not fun. Now that I’ve successfully vented about the weather, I’m really glad summer is coming to a close and the last days are upon us.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I could not bring myself to turn on the stove. I would have rather starved. So, I decided to raid the fridge and throw together a salad because I knew I had some cooked quinoa and lots of fresh veggies. That alone would not be sufficient so I decided to have K fire up the grill (after the sun went down) and we made David Lebovitz’s grilled vegetables with za’atar vinaigrette.  It was perfect timing that I happened upon this recipe because I was just thinking about expanding my salad dressing horizons beyond the old trusty balsamic vinaigrette. This dish was so quick and easy to come together and I made a ton of it and we enjoyed it cold for lunch the next day. I must say, after marinading overnight, the zucchini and eggplant were so much more flavorful the next day.

Quinoa and Kale Salad:

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 bunch lacinato kale, sliced thin

2 persian cucumbers, sliced

5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 T chopped parsley

juice of 1 lemon

1T sumac

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Place sliced kale in a bowl and drizzle with 1 T olive oil and juice of half the lemon. Salt to taste and massage the kale by hand until all is coated. Let sit 10 minutes.

Add quinoa and the rest of the ingredients plus 3T olive oil. Toss to coat and serve. This salad is hearty and may be made a few hours in advance. It’s also great the next day and travels well for a picnic.

Za’atar:

recipe adapted from Heart of the Artichoke by David Tannis

3T dried marjoram

2 T sesame seeds

1/4 cup dried thyme

2 T dried oregano

2 T sumac

2 tsp sea salt

1T aleppo pepper

In a small skillet, toast sesame seeds and combine with the rest of the ingredients. At this stage, the original directions say to grind the mixture, but I omitted this step and simply combined all very well. I especially liked the sesame seeds whole.

*za’atar is a very versatile mixture that can be used as a rub, seasoning on grilled fish, or a delicious topping for pita chips.

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