Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese and Fig Balsamic Dressing

This salad holds its own as a main and also pairs remarkably well with grilled chicken or fish.  The amounts roughly serve four when formally plating; but you can also combine the ingredients into a large bowl and let your guests have at it pot-luck style.  Light and delicious…basically, summer on your plate.

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Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Honied Goat Cheese (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup black grapes
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cups fresh basil
  • 1 watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4 Tablespoons soft goat cheese
  • Pea shoots

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Fig Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime Juice
  • 1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions, strain and allow to cool.  Chop the scallions, grapes, cranberries and basil; transfer to a large salad bowl.  Mix in the chilled quinoa and sweet peas.  Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, and then add to the salad mixture.  Allow to marinade for a few hours or overnight.   When ready to serve; slice the goat cheese into medallions, chop the watermelon into 1-inch cubes and roughly quarter the strawberries.

When plating, pack about 1/2 cup of the quinoa mixture into a small bowl and invert it onto a serving plate; making a tight disk to form the salad base.  Add the strawberries, watermelon, toasted pine nuts and a generous slice of goat cheese. Top the goat cheese with pea shoots and a light drizzle of warmed honey.

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