Strawberries…to me, there's nothing better than grabbing one by the stem with eager fingers and biting into the perfectly ripe, erubescent, juicy, and oh-so-sweet flesh during this time of the year. I'm that crazy woman at the store who hovers over the berry containers and examines them from every angle imaginable, searching for that perfect batch. And yes, I do succeed..eventually. If my thirties have taught me anything, it's that having some thick skin is not so bad after all.
They've also taught me to be a more economical and practical shopper. Just because something is on sale, doesn't mean that I must take it home with me. Truth be told, I still struggle with certain items (ahem..purses and shoes), and I'm now adding strawberries to the list. They are on sale everywhere I turn, and I seriously can't help myself from taking full advantage of it!
Naturally, these beauties have been ending up in everything we eat. Good thing the Hungryman shares my obsession. I couldn't clean off an entire plate all by myself..or could I?
This strawberry salad with orange vinaigrette couldn't be simpler to make. And it is just as tasty as it is gorgeous. It is the perfect make-ahead meal as the flavors mix and mingle more thoroughly with time.
You can decide how much vinaigrette you want to pour into the salad. I used about half and saved the rest to repurpose for another meal. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
As for the grains, I'm trying to "challenge" the Hungryman to broaden his appreciation for all the wonderful grains out there. I've succeeded in converting him to a quinoa-lover (specifically, yellow ones) so far, but that's about it. He is still not too fond of the red ones, but I personally think they have so much more flavor - nutty, hearty, and delicious. So as not to freak him out entirely, I decided to combine them with Israeli or pearl couscous, which he adores! Feel free to use just one or the other for time and convenience sake. I didn't mind the extra step too much… It's all for love ;).
You really must plan ahead and make this dish at least several hours before serving. The flavors really amplify the longer it sits.
- 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries quartered
- ½ cup red quinoa
- ½ cup couscous I used pearl
- 5-7 basil leaves roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger or freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 oz. crumbled herbed goat cheese
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Cook quinoa and couscous according to package instructions. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.
- Add strawberries and basil. Toss with vinaigrette until well coated. Season to taste. Place in the refrigerator for several hours to let the flavors develop.
- When ready to serve, add cheese, almonds, and more fresh basil.
I'm also sharing this recipe on the Healthy Aperture Blog where you will find tons of healthy and delicious recipes and inspirations ;).
I'm looking so forward to making this --- so many favorites in one recipe!
Kourtnee Whelan says
This is the first time I have ever read a food blog, so please forgive me if my question is stilly. I don't cook hardly at all, but I am trying to change that and eat more consciously. I would love to try this recipe since it has all my favorite things , but as I read through, I wondered what I was supposed to do with the 1/4tsp of ginger? And is that ginger powder or am I supposed to grate the ginger? Does it go in with the strawberries and basil to the quinoa? I am sure everyone else who reads your blog knows the answer already and I sound silly, but I would really love to give this a try! Thanks Min!
Hi Kourtnee! No no need to apologize! It's actually completely my fault for not specifying. I used ground ginger but you can use freshly grated ginger if you prefer. And yes, it goes with the quinoa mixture ;). Can't wait for you to try! Hope you enjoy it as much as I!!
I actually haven't had the red quinoa yet. But, I must try this recipe because it has all of my favorite things! Goat cheese, fruits, basil... yum.
This looks and sounds delicious! I've pinned it and can't wait to try it!
felicia | Dish by Dish says
Min, I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Dropped you an email the other day, not sure if you received it! Anyway, this salad! You're the person who first inspired me to use quinoa, and today, I flip on your blog and ta-dah! Quinoa again, red this time! It's been a while since I've played with quinoa (and I've never tried red quinoa)...so maybe it's time to reach for quinoa at the natural foods section again! sending love, and a happy birthday hug!
Love you lots!!!
I'm sorry I haven't responded to your email yet. It's just been one of those weeks..driving 4+ hours/day = madness and road rage. Hope you give red quinoa and this recipe a try soon! Thank you for all the love and the birthday wishes 😉
Mad Betty says
I've been in a bit of a quinoa rut lately. You're provided me with some much-needed inspiration. Your photos are fantastic!
Thank you so much! I hope you give this recipe a try soon ;).
Looks fantastic! The nutrition information is for how many servings?
Thanks, Jordan! This salad makes 4-6 servings and the nutrition info is based per serving. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do 😉
Okay. I just didn't understand whether it was figured on diving the finished recipe by four or six. Each serving size would yield different calorie counts.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Oh, this looks incredible - if only strawberries weren't going out of season here! I think I better stock up quickly to make this 🙂 I'd definitely be able to eat the whole thing solo I think...
Eeks! Hurry hurry cuz frozen ones won't work here. I have no doubt that you would be able to finish this by yourself, but I have a feeling Mr. Bite may want in on the deliciousness as well ;).
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
You know I love quinoa salad with strawberries. I'm definitely trying this version soon! You are stronger than me went it comes to buying, I've been known to spend upwards of $8 on a carton of strawberries. I know, crazy, but they are just so darn delicious! And when they are in season and on sale, I can't stop eating them. Hope you had a great weekend, Min!
Nope, not crazy at all ;). I hear ya! I have no self-control when it comes to berries. I guess antioxidants will protect me this season hehe. Yay! It's the weekend!! It's been a very.very long week.
Heather of Kitchen Concoctions says
Yum! I love strawberries too and am always looking for new recipes to use them in. This salad is gorgeous and so are your photos of it!
Thank you, Heather!
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says
i am so excited for berries as well..and this salad looks perfect for lunch.
Thank you, Dixya! Berries make me happy hehe