Grilled Veggie Quinoa Salad
Everyone loves a good old fashioned barbecue. The easy conviviality of a family backyard picnic. The smoky summer scent of charred goodies grilling. Lemonade chilling. Badminton birdies sailing. The crack of croquet balls. The last pink of daylight. Punching lids on firefly jars. But if you need to be gluten-free, or if you happen to be vegan, barbecues can be less than convivial. Those mysterious sauces (so often containing wheat-laced soy sauce). Those off-limit fluffy hot dog buns. All those meaty burgers and egg-dotted salads. What's a gluten-free vegan to do? Munch on lettuce?
I've got your back.
How about a light and summery quinoa salad with grilled corn, parsley, lemon and mint, with a velvety side of smoky grilled red onion, zucchini, peppers, portobello mushrooms, asparagus and eggplant? A vegan feast.
Grilled vegetables are the jewels of summer. They're show stoppers, really, in their gorgeous rainbow colors. No one will feel cheated or deprived eating a bowl of these beautiful smoky-sweet veggies with lemon-infused quinoa. Serve a side of hummus with tahini as a cool and creamy condiment.
Grilled Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Vegans and omnivores alike will love this summery quinoa dish with smoky grilled veggies. The easiest way to grill marinated veggies is to use a grill basket. But foil also works (and solves the whole cross-contamination issue for those eating gluten-free). If you don't have an outdoor grill, you can grill your veggies using a cast iron grill pan.
1 large red onion, peeled, trimmed, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 medium yellow squash, sliced lengthwise
1 medium eggplant, trimmed, sliced
2 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed
1 pound asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 ears of fresh corn, corn silk removed, husks on
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
In a large bowl combine the the onion, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, portobello mushrooms, and asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Add the garlic, and thyme. Season with sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. Gently toss to coat. Cover and marinate for one hour.
Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
Grill the ears of corn separately on a rear rack, away from direct flame. The husks will get a bit blackened and smoky. This adds so much flavor. Rotate them every five minutes or so. After 10-20 minutes, when the corn is tender, remove and set aside to cool. Strip off the husks and carefully slice the kernels off the cob. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place the veggies in a grill basket, or spread out the veggies on a large sheet of foil. Add a top sheet, crimp the edges of the sheets together to make a packet. Place on the hot grill and cook until tender crisp, about 15-25 minutes, depending upon the size of your grill. Remove the veggie basket/packet to a large platter or cutting board, and set aside.
Place the cooked quinoa in a large serving bowl. Add the grilled corn, chopped fresh parsley, and mint. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. Toss to coat.
To serve, you can either slice the grilled veggies and add them to the quinoa as a salad, or serve the simple quinoa-corn salad with big beautiful pieces of grilled veggies on the side.
Hummus with tahini is a lovely condiment with grilled veggies.
This post is part of the BlogHer Light & Fresh Summer Grilling series, which includes 100 percent editorial content presented by a participating sponsor. Our advertisers do not produce editorial content. This post is made possible by Michelob ULTRA Light Cider and BlogHer.
What is your favorite gluten-free and/or vegan dish for grilling? Share your ideas in the comments below.