The year’s fifth season has begun: late summer. It’s the golden season, and brings back all the feelings in me. I realized this morning how the morning light in my apartment has changed. It’s softer, glowy, and somehow comforting. I will cherish those upcoming weeks and will try to spend as much time outside as possible. Preferably with friends, plant-based BBQs and this best quinoa BBQ salad.
I spent my summer in my kitchen writing and shooting my second cookbook. It was a lot of work, but I’m almost done, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m really proud of the results. Unfortunately my books are only available in German for now, but you never know what happens. While I created plenty of recipes for the new book, I usually did not feel like cooking at night when we were invited to BBQs this summer. So my husband was in charge of making the potluck-salad, which was amazing. For the past few years he has been bringing basically the same salad to potlucks or BBQs. It’s safe to say that this salad is his signature salad.
The quinoa salad is full of exciting flavors, yet you can get all the ingredients in every normal supermarket. Think mint, pistachios, dates, grilled peaches and hearty sweet potatoes. Simple, yet quite elegant, and something for the eyes. Of course he changes it up a bit every time we make it depending on what’s left in the fridge. You could use any type of nut or seed, but I would recommend giving those pistachios a chance. Somehow they are the perfect crunchy addition to this quinoa BBQ salad.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional value of this salad. The basis of this salad is quinoa, which is my absolute favorite pseudo-grain. It contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also contains the amino acid tryptophan, which aids the production of the happiness hormone serotonin. Hence, quinoa can literally make us happy. The high amount of fiber in the sweet potatoes helps stabilize blood sugar levels and therefore keeps us full for longer. Arugula (rocket) contains lots of bitter plant-compounds, which aid digestion.
My secret favorite in this salad are the peaches, which you can add raw or grilled. I love it grilled, when the fruit sugars start to crystalize and caramelize. Yum!Print
For the salad
- 2 sweet potatoes approx. 800 g
- 120 g quinoa
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 bell pepper
- 250 g cherry tomatoes
- approx. 3 stems of fresh mint
- 100 g arugula (rocket)
- 5 soft dates
- 30 g unsalted pistachios
- 2 spring onions
- 1–2 peaches
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon-mustard
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C top and bottom heat.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the sweet potatoes are completely covered.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and roast for about 25-30 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, cook the quinoa. To do so, bring the quinoa to the boil with twice the amount of water and a teaspoon of apple vinegar and simmer for about 12-14 minutes at medium to low heat. If necessary, add more water to prevent the quinoa from burning.
- While the quinoa is simmering, wash and cut the vegetables. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Cut the spring onions into rings. Coarsely chop the mint and pistachios and cut the peach into bite-sized pieces. Alternatively, cut the peach in half first, then grill briefly on the inside and only then cut into small pieces. Place everything in a large salad bowl.
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing. Mix quinoa, sweet potatoes, vegetables, bell pepper, peach, mint, spring onions, dates and pistachios in the salad bowl and mix with the dressing.