What is better in the hot summer heat than salads? I found some super easy and versatile salad recipes in a lost and forgotten copy of Cooking Light while visiting mom one summer. Alas, I do not recall what edition or month these were in. (See my Nutty Greens and Bean Salad for another variation.)
Instead of using pasta (per the original recipe), I decided to use quinoa and do a sort of deconstructed pesto (with the help of Gourmet Garden, one of our sponsors).
Pesto Salad with Feta and Chickpeas
1 c. quinoa
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Gourmet Garden Basil Paste
1-2 T. sherry vinegar (Adjust acidity as needed.)
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. crumbled feta
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool.
Toss all ingredients together.
Gourmet Garden was kind enough to send many complimentary stir-in pastes AND tubs of lightly dried herbs for participating in #HotSummerEats. (They even threw in a handy insulated wine carrier and lunch tote.)
Thank goodness they did send this supply because as you can tell from my garnish, my basil is barely big enough to pick.
Although this might sound like a paid-for advertisement, I really mean it: Gourmet Garden pastes are the best during the dead of winter and early spring when herbs have yet to come up. Their products can take the place of fresh herbs in a pinch. Please check out Gourmet Garden on Twitter and Instagram.
And, don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!
Disclaimer – Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Chef for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own. Stay tuned for more summer-inspired recipes.