|Roasted Tomato Quinoa Salad|
Friends, I've done you a disservice. I realized that I don't have a lot of recipes for side dishes on LL Balanced! I don't even have a sides category! Why, oh why have I left half of your plate empty, your proteins forlorn?
Honestly, I think it's because most of my sides don't even constitute recipes. 90% of the time, our plates are completed by whichever seasonal veggies look fresh, prepared simply with some combination of olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
All of this is exceptionally delicious and nourishing, but it's not going to win you a prize for creativity and presentation. One of the places I look to for inspiration for cooking seasonal produce is Music City Mise, which offers locally-curated dinner kits and home-cooking guidance. Started by my friend Libby, MCM empowers you to create fresh, simple, mouthwatering. Her menu is ever-rotating with amazing combinations like olive oil poached spring onions with smoky field peas?!
Alarmed at my lack of side dishes and mid-ogle of some local heirloom tomatoes, I had a WWLibbyD moment. Today's recipe emerged, and couldn't have been more pleased!
When ripe tomatoes are cooked low and slow, the natural sugars condense and they take on a rich, sweet flavor. Softer and juicier than store-bought sundried tomatoes, these are amazing as part of an anti-pasti platter, layered on crusty bread with hummus or blended with olives to make an incredible spread.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves, because I adore them best in my summery quinoa dish with cold, crisp grapes and crunchy salted pistachios! This is one of those recipes that gets better with age (5 days max), and a simple toss of olive oil will bring it back to life.
Quinoa has tons of natural protein, so you could absolutely eat this as a light meal on its own or paired with sliced avocado. Make it on Sunday and you'll have meals throughout the week. Also, if you are in the Nashville area I cannot recommend Music City Mise enough. It will definitely get you on track to home-cooking and taste incredible in the process!