When warm weather rolls around, I'm all about the grain salad. It's light, refreshing, and easy to make ahead. Because these salads don't run the risk of wilted leafy greens, they are super portable and make a great potluck or barbecue side dish.
Here, I've used quinoa, which is actually a seed, but you can substitute any other small grain, like farro or barley. This simple recipe would even be tasty with couscous. If you decide to make this ahead, stir in cheese and basil just before serving.
Quinoa Salad with Oven-Roasted Corn and Tomatoes
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 375°.
3. Combine corn and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread corn in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Roast corn at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.
4. Combine juice, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add corn, quinoa, and tomatoes to bowl; toss to coat. Add cheese and basil; toss gently.