Nothing is more summery than a quinoa salad filled with juicy peaches, cool fresh mint, and local honey.
I was inspired to make this salad after having lunch at Vert Kitchen with my parents in the Wash Park neighborhood. Vert Kitchen prides itself on providing fresh, organic healthy food that is 100% homemade (get their sun tea, so so good!). If you order a sandwich, you have an option of a side (I believe the sides change seasonally). My dad ordered a blueberry quinoa salad for his, and I loved how refreshing it was without being overly sweet. Back home with fresh Colorado peaches on the counter and leftover mint in the fridge, I knew I had to make my own version of the delectable quinoa salad.
This salad is ideal for picnics and dinner parties, as you can prepare it in advance and easily adjust the flavors and ingredients to meet your dining guests’ needs. I kept it simple and not too sweet, but if you are looking for a tad more sweetness, I recommend roasting the peaches or adding a touch more honey.
While this recipe was inspired by a side dish, Bry and I enjoyed it as an entree, served over mixed baby greens with sautéed tofu on top for extra protein. When eating the leftovers of this salad, I decided to throw in feta cheese – oh my word. Please add feta to yours too! I really liked this recipe at first, but the feta made it 100% better. I’m bummed I didn’t get a picture with the feta, but I can tell you the white against the red quinoa is really pretty!
So here’s a toast to finding new lunch spots and recipe inspiration!
Mint Peach Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed (I used red quinoa, but any is fine)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Pinch salt and pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped mint
- 1-2 peaches diced
- 1 small cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- Optional protein of choice if making as an entree: 1 lb chicken 1-2 cups chickpeas, 1 package tofu (I went with roasted tofu)
- Optional Mixed greens to make this a larger salad
- Place 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is soft and water has been absorbed. Allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- While quinoa cooks, prepare the salad dressing by whisking together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside. Next, dice your peaches and cucumber, and finely chop the mint.
- Pour cooked quinoa into a large mixing bowl. Add salad dressing, cucumbers, peaches, feta, and about 1/2 of the mint. Toss well to combine. Add remaining mint on top as garnish.
- Serve warm, or option to cool in fridge for at least 2 hours. If serving as an entree, I recommend adding an extra protein source for a more filling meal. Enjoy!