Grilled Vegetable Salad with Quinoa and Basil Oil


Print Email



Grilled Vegetable Salad with Quinoa and Basil Oil


Quinoa is an ancient grain, a staple of the Incas, with high nutritional value as well as a pleasing nutty flavour. Grill the vegetables ahead when you’re making supper the previous evening or, indeed, make the whole salad up to a day ahead. Add cheese and you’ll have a satisfying main dish. Fresh Basil Oil (recipe follows) is delicious in many dressings. I usually double the recipe and keep it in the fridge for future salads.

  • Serves: 4
  • Course: Snack


Grilled Vegetable Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa (250 ml)
  • 2 cups water (500 ml)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 2 tbsp  extra-virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 red pepper, halved
  • 1 yellow pepper, halved
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/2" (1 cm) thick
  • 1 red onion, sliced 1/2" (1 cm) thick
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil Oil (recipe follows) (60 ml)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (15 ml)
  • Grilled wedges of haloumi or manouri cheese, or crumbled feta

Fresh Basil Oil

  • 1 cup  tightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (250 ml)
  • 1 clove  garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (75 ml)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Rinse quinoa in a bowl with several changes of cold water. Drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil with 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, and cover pan. Simmer until grains are tender but not mushy, 12–15 minutes. Pour quinoa into a strainer and let drain. Turn into a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil while still warm. Cover and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with remaining oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until tender, 10–15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Chop coarsely and add to quinoa mixture.
  4. Drizzle Fresh Basil Oil and balsamic vinegar over quinoa and vegetables and toss all together well. Season to taste. Turn out onto a serving platter and garnish with parsley and wedges of grilled cheese or crumbled feta, if using.
  5. Tips:

    - To grill haloumi, a Cypriot cheese, or manouri, a Greek one, cut into slices, about 3/4" (2 cm) thick. Pat surface dry with a paper towel and brush with olive oil. Grill over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear. If you can’t find these cheeses, substitute the more familiar feta.

    - The salad absorbs flavours as it rests, so just before serving, adjust seasoning and add fresh herbs.

    - You can substitute bulgur wheat, couscous, or wheat berries for quinoa: Follow package instructions for cooking and proceed as above.
  6. Fresh Basil Oil

    In a food processor or blender, combine basil, garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste. makes about 1/2 cup (125 ml).

No comments

You need to be logged in or a registered user to leave a comment

Log in  |  Register

Tonight on Cottage Life

  • No listings available
View Full Schedule


Jane Rodmell