Did you know May is National Salad Month?! I’ve never been good at keeping up with the National Food Holidays (who sets those dates anyways?!) so I had no idea. Unfortunately I got the memo late and between the craziness of moving and being really busy at work, I’ve been celebrating “National Eat Whatever is Quick, Easy, and Involves a Chocolate Ending Month” along with “Every Night Calls For Wine Month.” Oh well, that’s life I suppose!
But really, who doesn’t love a good salad?! I can definitely appreciate a well made salad and today I’m teaming up with Driscoll’s Berries and California Endive to bring you a fun summery appetizer/salad. Technically, this isn’t a traditional lettuce salad, but it does involve a green – endive! I’ve actually never cooked/prepared endive so I was a little unsure what to do with the cute little scooper-looking leaves but after looking around at some other recipes, I noticed that stuffing them was a popular choice. I found a lot of cheese based stuffings, but in the spirit of National Salad Month, I wanted to lighten things up. Enter: Blueberry & Basil (and goat cheese!) Quinoa.
My taste buds are in the process of switching from craving stews and casseroles to wanting fresh veggies and herbs, and I’ve been all about the basil. It’s my all-time favorite summer herb and while it’s available year-round at the grocery store, there’s just something special about buying it straight from the farmers market.
The combination of the blueberries and basil is delicious – it’s like spring meets summer. I’ll admit – the combo does sound weird but I promise, it works! Along with a light vinaigrette consisting of olive oil, honey, lemon juice, shallots, and garlic and goat cheese, the quinoa salad is so good you really could just eat it on it’s own. However, after filling the endive leaves with the quinoa salad, they were great utensil-free appetizers at a BBQ . I think they would be a fun salad, too. Either way, they’re a perfect way to showcase seasonal produce and celebrate National Salad Month!
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 1 cup water
for the dressing:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
for the rest of the salad:
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 3 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 2 heads of endive
Make the quinoa:
- Place quinoa and water in small pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover with lid.
- Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed.
- Fluff and set aside to cool.
Make the dressing:
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Drizzle quinoa with dressing, to coat the quinoa evenly.
- Add blueberries, basil, and goat cheese to dressed quinoa and stir gently to combine.
- Cut the core off the endive, and then separate into individual leaves.
- Spoon ~2 tbsp worth of quinoa mixture into each endive leave.
- Serve immediately.