This refreshing quinoa salad features ripe, summer stone fruit dressed in a light vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil.
This post was sponsored by Olive Oils from Spain. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
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, many of which don’t even require turning on the stove or oven. No matter what time of year it is, when I’m in the kitchen, I often reach for my extra virgin olive oil.
I’ve posted about Olive Oils from Spain before (CLICK HERE to read the post). Spain is actually the largest producer of olive oil in the world. With more than 260 different olive varieties, Olive Oils from Spain have a unique range of flavors, aromas, and textures that make it suitable for a wide variety of dishes. Spain produces olive oil with the highest quality in the world- in fact, 7 out of 10 international awards are for Olive Oils from Spain. Interesting fact about olive oil- did you know that olive oil doesn’t expire? It has a date of preferential consumption because its characteristics evolve after a certain period of time but it does not expire. So that means that you can still continue to reap all of its benefits and enjoy your olive oil long after its production.
Spain produces the most stable and robust extra virgin olive oils in the world, thanks to its high content of oleic acid and polyphenols. The oleic acid renders olive oil more resistant to oxidation and therefore it’s less easily broken down by heat, light and other factors. Extra virgin olive oil is also packed with compounds that are beneficial for our health including heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, polyphenols, anti-inflammatories, and vitamin E.
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 .#AD My quinoa salad features stone fruit w/ a light vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil @OliveOils_Spain Click To Tweet
My Quinoa Salad with Stone Fruit is the perfect light, refreshing summer dish. Packed with whole grains, protein, fiber, and healthy fats, this salad will fill you up but won’t weigh you down. This lovely summer salad takes advantage of the beautiful stone fruit that’s abundant at the market this time of year. In case you’re not familiar with the term, stone fruit refers to fruit with a “stone” or pit inside. Stone fruit like vibrant nectarines and peaches, sweet plums, and ruby red cherries, are all bursting with fresh flavor during the summer months.
To highlight these ingredients, I make a delicious lemony vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil from Spain. 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.
Finally, I finish the quinoa salad with fresh basil and tangy goat cheese to tie all of the flavors together. Light, refreshing, colorful, and delicious- it’s reminiscent of summer on a plate!
To get the full recipe for my Quinoa Salad with Stone Fruit, head over to the Olive Oils from Spain blog HERE.