Tricolore Quinoa Salad


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Quinoa Cookbook

The Quinoa Cookbook

By Penny Doyle

Published 2013

  • About

This is a quinoa-rich variation of the classic Italian salad. The unmistakable flavours and smells of ripe tomatoes instantly recalls the Mediterranean climate. Good-quality sun-dried tomatoes are restored to plumpness after soaking. Complemented by fresh tomatoes, this is a perfect salad for al fresco dining on summer nights.


  • 45 ml/3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 75 g/3 oz/½ cup pearl quinoa
  • 50 g/2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in boiling water for 2 hours
  • 25 g/1 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 225 g/8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped or torn into small pieces
  • about 20 cherry tomatoes, or 8 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • cured Italian meats and ciabatta bread, to serve

For the dressing

  • 90 ml/6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt and ground black pepper


  1. Dry-fry the pine nuts in a heavy frying pan, stirring all the time, for about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Be careful the pine nuts don’t scorch. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the quinoa in 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup water for 15-17 minutes, until tender, but retaining some bite. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, pat dry with kitchen paper, and cut with a sharp knife into long, thin strips.
  4. Tear or snip one quarter of the basil leaves into pieces and place in a jar or small bowl. Add all the dressing ingredients and shake or whisk to mix.
  5. Place the cooled quinoa, pine nuts, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Tear the remaining basil leaves, add to the bowl, pour in the dressing, and toss gently to mix. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve alongside a cold platter of meats, accompanied by fresh ciabatta.

Nutritional Information: Gluten free Energy 447kcal/1864kJ; Protein 16g; Carbohydrate 27g, of which sugars 14g; Fat 31g, of which saturates 10g; Cholesterol 32mg; Calcium 234mg; Fibre 3g; Sodium 303mg.