Experiencing Summer (Quinoa and Tomato Salad, Vegan, Gluten Free)
There is nothing better than a ripe bursting cherry tomato.
Sweet, slightly sour with a depth that can hold you through winter. The flavor of a ripe cherry tomato picked hours before you eat it is an experience that is unlike any other. No store bought tomato can compete. Which is why I avoid tomatoes like the plague until the sweet few months of summer.
Then I gorge on them. I eat piles and piles of them, and never get tired of their sweet depth. I crave them well into October and then pack my cravings away. Until the first few pints return the farmers markets in the early weeks of summer. Lucky for me it’s the early weeks of summer, and cherry tomatoes are popping up at farmer’s markets.
I bought too little during my last farmer’s market haul and they were gone too quickly. But here is a delicious recipe I created, inspired by the beautiful pearls of orange and red. Speckled with fresh spinach and basil. Great produce rarely needs anything other than a squeeze of citrus, olive oil or salt. The fresher it is the more it sings with the lightest hand and that is the beauty of nature. I threw this salad together at the last minute, with ingredients I had around the house.
But oh my goodness am I dreaming of this salad. Eat it for lunch, eat it for dinner, take it to your next barbecue or on your next camping trip. I ask you to make the salad and relish in the beauty of early summer tomatoes. Find satisfaction in the simplest flavors of summer.
Summer Tomato Quinoa Salad
2 Cups cooked quinoa or grain of your choice
1 1/2 C halved cherry tomatoes
1 C spinach chopped
2 Tbsp basil chopped fine, divided
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients together except for 1 Tbsp of the basil in a medium bowl.
Serve topped with basil
This dish can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days after being mixed together.