Caprese Style Quinoa-Arugula Salad


My sons love the traditional Caprese salad of fresh ripe tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic. I make it for them all summer long when the tomatoes and basil are at their best. With this favorite in mind, I created the most delicious quinoa salad. It's loaded with arugula, tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, and basil. This salad is great on its own but would also make the perfect side to anything on the grill. It's also ideal for entertaining since it can be assembled ahead of time. I love this one.



Ingredients for Caprese Style Quinoa-Arugula Salad:


Salad:

2 cups quinoa, rinsed well

5 ounces baby arugula

8 ounces cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves

3/4 cup drained perlini mozzarella

1/3 cup pistachios


Dressing:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 finely chopped shallot

kosher salt

black pepper


Time-Saving Tips: The quinoa can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated. The salad can be assembled 1-2 hours before serving; dress right before enjoying.



Let's see what we need.


Ready to cook.

Combine the quinoa and 4 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and spread the quinoa on a cookie sheet to cool.


I like to add all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar. Once I add the ingredients I put the lid on the jar and shake. It's easier for me. If you don't have a jar a small bowl and spoon to stir works, too. Set aside.




Once the quinoa has cooled the salad can be assembled. Add the quinoa to a large bowl and toss in the arugula. Gently add and distribute the rest of the ingredients. Fold in some of the dressing; add salt and pepper to taste.





It's ready! This salad is delicious. It's great as a side dish with a roast, fish or anything grilled. Leftovers make an especially tasty lunch the next day, too!


Enjoy!


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