Party Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa
We love this Party Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa, loaded with eggplant, corn, peppers and maple-balsamic dressing. Three sides in one colorful dish.
Servings (change as needed): 3 mains (5-6 sides)
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1/5 tsp salt
- 6 cups greens
- 2 peppers, cored, quartered
- 2 japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise in half (or thirds if large)
- 2-3 ears corn on cob, husks removed
- 1 large sweet potato (or 2 smaller) - Optional
- drizzle, olive oil, Italian or Catalina dressing
- salt and pepper
- Garnish options: pea shoots, green onions, toasted nuts, goat cheese
- 1 1/2 tbsp good Balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/3 cup oil (or a bit more if you like the flavours less intense)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat grill to medium high.
MAKE QUINOA: Place the rinsed Quinoa in a medium pot with the water and salt. Bring to a boil. Set heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork. Cool.
PREPARE VEGETABLES: Lay eggplant, peppers and corn on a pan covered in foil (for easy clean up). Drizzle with oil or salad dressing. Sprinkle with salt. For sweet potatoes, you can cook them in one of two ways: Option 1 - peel and dice, drizzle with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast for 15-20 minutes in 425F oven until lightly browned and soft. Option 2 - Pierce sweet potato in several places, microwave on high for about 4- 41/2 minutes. Then peel off skin, slice into 1/2 disks, spray with oil, then grill for a few minutes each side along with other vegetables.
GRILL VEGETABLES: Spray vegetables lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt. Grill until tender and slightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Corn will take and extra 2 minutes or so. Remove from heat. Remove corn kernels from husks by sliding a knife down the sides of each corn. Discard husks. Cut eggplant and peppers into bite size chunks.
MAKE DRESSING: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the first 5 dressing ingredients. Slowly add the oil while whisking until smoothly blended. Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon).
ASSEMBLE SALAD AND SERVE: In large shallow serving bowl, place greens and quinoa and mix together. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing on. Add corn, peppers, eggplant and sweet potato if using on top. Drizzle more dressing on the salad (you may not need all the dressing) and toss to combine all ingredients. Add garnishes as desired. Serve.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Make everything up to the "assemble and serve" step. When ready to serve, assemble the salad and add the dressing.
Nutrition value estimates are for 3 main course meals and do not include optional garnishes.
Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 1300mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 9687IU | Vitamin C: 132mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4mg