This crisp, cool summer is perfect for dining al fresco on a warm summer night! With hearty quinoa and earthy veggies, it’s the perfect balance between satisfying and light.
- For the salad:
- ½ cup quinoa (or 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa)
- ¾ cup of water or broth
- ¾ pound cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1¼ cup corn kernels, from 2 small ears of corn
- 2½ cups stemmed and finely chopped kale
- ¾ cup chopped cilantro
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup crumbled ricotta salata or feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Rinse and drain the quinoa. Put it in a pot with the water. Bring it to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff it with a fork, turn off the heat, set the cover ajar, and set aside to cool completely.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325ºF. Halve the tomatoes and spread them on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on ½ tablespoon of the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss everything to coat. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer and roast for 30 to 35 minutes until slightly dried at the edges. Remove to cool.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and sauté, only stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes to just char the outside. Set aside to cool. Both of these steps may be done 1 day in advance.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, kale, and cilantro. When the tomatoes and corn are completely cool, add them along with the pine nuts and cheese to the bowl.
- For the dressing, in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, pulse or smash the garlic cloves. Add the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, buttermilk, and a hearty pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything to combine.
- Toss the salad with the desired amount of dressing. This salad will keep, covered, in the fridge for 3 days.