This refreshing Quinoa Salad with Stone Fruit features delicious nectarines, plums, and cherries dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette. Packed with whole grains, protein, fiber, and healthy fats, this nutritious salad will fill you up without weighing you down.
I love cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients, especially in the summertime. When you cook with ingredients that are in season, they’re at their peak of flavor and you don’t need to do too much to them to make them taste good.
In the summer, I gravitate towards light, simple recipes that I can put together quickly and easily. Some of my favorite summer dishes are my Pesto Rosso (Sun-dried Tomato Pesto), Tropical Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa, and Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt.
This delicious Quinoa Salad with Stone Fruit is the perfect summer dish. It's packed with whole grains, protein, fiber, and healthy fats, that will satisfy your hunger without weighing you down.
Quinoa- a superfood
My Quinoa Salad with Stone Fruit features hearty quinoa and sweet summer stone fruit tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil.
Quinoa is a centuries-old grain that's a true superfood! It's a gluten-free whole grain that's packed with protein. In addition, quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber. magnesium. Numerous studies have shown that increased dietary fiber is associated with lower rates of coronary artery disease.
Quinoa is also a good source of several B Vitamins, Vitamin E, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Because of all of its healthy properties, quinoa is a great choice for people with cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It's also a nice alternative for anyone trying to cut down their intake of refined, processed carbohydrates and include more healthy whole grains in their diet.
To learn more about the health benefits of quinoa and how to incorporate it into your diet, read my post Ingredient 911: Quinoa.
What is stone fruit?
Stone fruit refers to fruit with a “stone” or pit inside. These include fruits like vibrant nectarines and peaches, sweet plums, and ruby red cherries. These lovely fruits are abundant at the market during the summer months and are bursting with fresh flavor.
Health benefits of olive oil
No matter what time of year it is, when I’m in the kitchen, I often reach for my extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is one of the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, a healthy eating plan that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Extra virgin olive oil is packed with compounds that are beneficial for our health including heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, polyphenols, anti-inflammatories, and vitamin E.
The landmark PREDIMED study was a randomized controlled trial that included over 7000 participants at high risk for heart disease. The study found that eating olive oil in the context of a balanced, Mediterranean-type diet reduced the incidence of stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular death by 30%.
To learn more, read my post all about the Health Benefits of Olive Oil.
How to store olive oil
Although extra virgin olive oils don’t expire, over time they deteriorate just like with all other types of oil. What can you do to maintain its quality as best as possible?
Here’s a tip: store the oil in a cupboard protected from sunlight, heat, humidity and strong odors. It’s as easy as that! Following this simple rule will help your olive oil maintain its properties as long as possible, especially in the warm months.
For my everyday cooking, I like to keep a small supply of olive oil in a dark-colored, pourable glass bottle (the dark color helps protect it from sunlight) in my cupboard where it’s readily accessible.
I keep the larger bottles or tins of olive oil in my pantry, which is in a cooler part of the kitchen, and I refill the smaller bottle as needed. Don’t store your olive oil right next to your stove, in a cupboard over your stove or on a windowsill where it will be exposed repeatedly to light and heat .
How to make quinoa salad with fruit
Make the quinoa salad
First, cook the quinoa in a saucepan. While the quinoa is cooking, slice your delicious stone fruit. I like to use nectarines or peaches, plums, and cherries. But you can use whatever fruit looks best at the market. Then, once the quinoa is cool, mix the quinoa, the fruit, and fresh basil together in a bowl.
Make the lemon vinaigrette
To highlight these ingredients, I make a delicious lemony vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil. It’s so easy to make your own salad dressing at home and it’s so much more flavorful than store-bought dressing.
Simply whisk extra virgin olive oil together with fresh lemon juice, minced shallots and a touch of honey (or shake it all up in a mason jar). Season it with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and you have a delicious and easy vinaigrette that you can use in a wide variety of salads.
Toss it all together
Pour enough of the vinaigrette into the quinoa salad to coat all of the ingredients. You can serve any leftover vinaigrette on the side.
Finally, transfer the salad to a serving bowl and crumble some tangy goat cheese on top. The savory goat cheese balances out the sweet fruit perfectly.
Light, refreshing, colorful, and delicious- this quinoa salad is summer on a plate!
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More tasty quinoa recipes
- Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables
- Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Strawberries
- Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burgers
- Quinoa Fried "Rice"
Quinoa Salad with Stone Fruit
- 1 cup tri-color quinoa
- 2 ripe nectarines or peaches, sliced
- 2 ripe plums, sliced
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1 ounce goat cheese
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoons minced shallot
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until done, about 15 minutes.
- Let the quinoa cool and then stir in the nectarines (or peaches), plums, cherries, and basil.
- To make the Lemon Vinaigrette, whisk the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain, lemon juice, honey, shallot, and a large pinch of salt and pepper together in a bowl (or mix in a mason jar).
- Pour as much of the vinaigrette onto the quinoa as desired (reserve any extra vinaigrette to serve on the side) and toss to combine. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a serving platter and crumble the goat cheese on top.