The markets are overflowing with tomatoes this time of year. This past Saturday I couldn’t believe the amount and variety of tomatoes that stared back at me from tables at the market. Beefsteak, plum, cherry, grape, heirloom, the possibilities were endless! Naturally, I looked for ‘local’ or ‘homegrown’ tomatoes, and ended up with some beautiful beefsteak tomatoes. I planned to use some of them to make a tomato water for a seafood dish (coming soon!) and figured I would think of something for the rest of them. I hated tomatoes growing up (as I mentioned in this salad post!), but have come around as I’ve gotten older. I’m still not in complete love with raw tomatoes, and definitely can’t eat them like my mom, who can salt a whole tomato and eat it like an apple! *shudder*.
I do however enjoy raw tomatoes when combined with other ingredients, like with this salad. I also happen to love the combination of tomatoes and green beans, and they go together just beautifully in this healthy side. We are leaving the tomatoes raw, but the addition of the hot cooked quinoa helps to blend the flavors together. You could leave the green beans raw, but I tossed them in some boiling water for just one minute and then plunged them into ice cold water. This allows a very slight softening, while retaining some of the crunch and the bright green color. Add some crumbed feta, a drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil and a few springs of mint, and we have a super versatile salad that can be served hot or at room temperature. Serve alongside grilled chicken or fish or enjoy on its own for a light dinner for two. Leftovers can be eaten cold straight out of the refrigerator. Not that I know from experience or anything…
As a bonus, this is gluten free, meatless and packed full of protein thanks for the quinoa. I used the plain white quinoa, but you can use red or the tricolored variety. Just make sure to rinse the quinoa before you cook it, it has a natural insecticide that makes the quinoa taste soapy if you don’t rinse it well prior to cooking.
quinoa with green beans, tomatoes and feta.
adapted from Martha Stewart.
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
2 beefsteak or plum tomatoes, seeded and diced large
8 oz. green beans, blanched and cooled, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons crumbled feta
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
Heat quinoa and one cup of water in a saucepan over high heat. When boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is done.
Heat a pot of water until boiling and add green beans. Cook for one minute, remove and put in a bowl of ice water to halt cooking. Once cooled, remove beans to a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, add warm quinoa. Add in tomatoes, cooled green beans, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and black pepper and toss to combine. Add in feta cheese and stir lightly to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve warm, room temperature or as a cold salad. Keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a light main dish.
**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible**