Peach, Basil and Jalapeño Quinoa Salad, with Charred Corn and Zucchini
Why we love it:
- 3 cups Quinoa
- 4 cups Water
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 3 Peachess (ripe and “freestone” if you have a choice)
- 1 Jalapeño (sliced in rings, seeds removed if desired to reduce heat)
- 1 pound Zucchini (sliced in rounds)
- 3 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 ears Corn (shucked)
- 1 bunch Basil
- 1⁄2 cup Almonds (toasted, they can be whole, sliced, or slivered)
- 6 ounces Fresh Chevre (goat’s cheese)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the quinoa, water, and 1 ½ teaspoon salt in a pot with a lid. Bring to a full boil over high heat, then stir well and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the quinoa simmer away for about 6 minutes, until the water it almost even with the top of the grain. Stir well. Cover and turn to low. Cook for another 11 minutes.
3. PEACHES + ZUCCHINI
Slice the zucchini into thin slices about ¼” thick.
Slice the jalapeño into rounds. If you want it to be more mild, use less and remove the seeds.
Slice the peach into wedges. If you have “freestone” peaches, you can slice around the pit, separate into 2 clean sides and the pit magically falls out. If you have “clingstone” you have to cut wedges off the side of the pit and work a little harder to get all of the fruit off the pit. Usually with the latter, your wedges look a little more uneven, but they taste great!
Toss the peach, jalapeño, and zucchini pieces with a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of olive oil and spread them on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 7 minutes total, stopping once to flip and gently stir the pan.
Shuck the corn and remove any clinging silks. If you have a gas oven, turn it on medium and place the corn directly on the grate. When it starts crackling, rotate. Repeat until you have a nice amount of char on the ear. If you have an electric stove, use a large dry saute pan and sear the corn until you have some color on most sides.
(If you have a BBQ easily accessible you can grill the corn and other veggies/fruit while you’re at it!)
When you can handle the corn, stand it up on a cutting board and slice off the kernels.
5. QUINOA SALAD
Toss the cooked, warm quinoa in a large bowl with the cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
Tear the basil leaves off of the stems and stack the leaves. Chiffonade or slice them. Add to the quinoa.
Add the zucchini, peaches, corn, jalapenos and crumbled chevre. Toss gently to combine.
If you didn’t purchase toasted almonds, add them to a dry saute pan and heat over medium for a few minutes, shaking the pan often so they don’t burn. In about 3-4 minutes they’ll be lightly browned. Turn off the heat and remove from the pan so they don’t continue cooking. This step is optional, but for such a simple dish, it may be worth it for developing flavor.
Plate big scoops of the salad into shallow bowls. Pull some peaches to the top for a nice presentation. Top with almonds and a little extra cheese.