As the first day of Spring approached, all I could think was “summer is almost here”. And with that thought, I reflected on the beautiful flowers, the greenery, the water and the bounty of fruits and vegetables that come in the summer.
I began to create a salad recipe and thought it needed a little something more.. a vessel, a boat of sorts, to hold it together.
Squash are a beautiful versatile vegetable that serve as a great vessel for your favorite salads, chili and almost anything else! I chose green zucchini for this recipe.
I wanted to keep the flavors light and fresh. Feel free to get creative and swap or sub ingredients for those you like more!
I used quinoa, but lentils, faro, rice, and couscous would all work great! This is also a great way to use some left over grains!
Here is my recipe:
- 1½ cups cooked quinoa
- 3 medium sized green zucchini
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curly parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons dried apricots, sliced
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut ends and tops off zucchini. Scoop out the seeds.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange zucchini on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Make vinaigrette by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Assemble the filling by mixing quinoa, olives, apricots, tomatoes, almonds, mint, parsley and feta cheese. Toss in vinaigrette.
- Allow zucchini to cool and then scoop in quinoa salad mix. Top with more feta if desired.
- Enjoy 🙂