{Dishes: Summer Quinoa Salad with Balsamicy Roasted Tomatoes}


Quick confession, I've spent most of my life eating tomatoes even though I actually get an allergic reaction from eating them.

Nothing as serious as my peanut allergy but my tongue and throat get extremely itchy and I then I get sores in my throat & mouth. My doctor says it's a reaction from from the acidity and that I should stay away from them (peaches, oranges and plums too!). Yet I find myself not being able to stay away from them during the summer months when they taste oh so perfectly sweet or even green topped with sea salt or hot sauce.

But while I was pregnant I found myself staying away or roasting them and this summer I've stepped it up a few notches. I toss them in this really delicious syrupy balsamic vinegar (that I brought back from Switzerland) olive oil and agave before I roast them. When I tell you AMAZING, I mean you may eat them all before the quinoa is done.

Seriously simple yet it will blow away your tastebuds. And isn't that the best part of summer, simple local ingredients made so the flavors shine through.

I've also spread these yummy tomatoes on a baugette, topped with fresh mozzarella and then under the broiler for a few minutes for an appetizer or toss with pasta and presto… Dinner opportunities are endless.


Has anyone ever roasted tomatoes and then frozen them? I think I may have to do that to get us through the winter months…


2 cups of prepared quinoa

bunch of fresh basil

5 or 6 tomatoes (I used campari tomatoes on the vine but I've done grape or heirloom and any others you like best or have will work)

8 oz of chopped fresh mozzarella

5 cloves of roasted garlic (more or less is fine)**

1 tbsp light agave

3 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1/2 tbsp salt & 1/2 tbsp pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Chop tomatoes and place in a bowl

3. Add salt and let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Add pepper, 1 tbsp of e EVOO, balsamic vinegar and agave to tomatoes.

5. Mix well.

6. Place on a baking sheet or baking dish.

7. Roast uncovered for 60 minutes.

8. Let the tomatoes cool, then chop tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1 tbsp of EVOO in a food processor or blender, until basil is paste like.

9. Toss cooked quinoa, mozzarella cheese and basil tomato mixture in a large bowl until well combined.

Serve at room temperature or you can toss it in a baking dish under the broiler to melt cheese (like O enjoys it!)

** To roast garlic, cut a head of garlic in half then wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet, bake at 350 for 60 minutes. You'll be able to squeeze out the yumminess out. I usually throw a few while I roast the tomatoes and store for the week in a mason jar.

TGIF lovelies! Hope you all have some great things planned this weekend.