Tomatoes and basil are the perfect pairing. There's a reason those mofos go together so frequently, and that's because they taste so damn good. During the summer, when both are in season, I eat some combination of tomatoes and basil at least a few times a week, because why resist? Tomatoes and basil are meant to be together in my (and your) mouth. Eat them with oil on pasta, eat them with fresh mozzarella in a Caprese salad, eat them in quesadillas, soups, and sauces. Just make sure you eat your fill before it turns cold and you have to resort to pale hothouse tomatoes and scrawny store-bought basil. Or at least, that's my philosophy. I can't get enough.
This recipe is basically my grandmother's easy tomato salad (which I recently shared with Marissa over on The Boot!) with a twist. The twist is quinoa and potatoes, so not that exciting, but still really good. I know I haven't featured any quinoa recipes here since the Great Three Day Quinoa Challenge of Early 2012, so I figured it was high time for another one.
There's nothing innovative here, but that's really the charm of this recipe: you simply can't go wrong. Tomatoes, potatoes, basil, quinoa, oil, vinegar. Toss in some salt, pepper, and garlic powder and it's a light but also hearty dinner or lunch.
Tomato Basil Quinoa
total time: about 20 minutes
total hands-on time: about 5 or so minutes
What you'll need:
1 cup of dry quinoa
2 medium tomatoes, diced (I used one yellow and one red!)
1 (or maybe 2) small red russet potato, diced
about 1/4 cup of basil, chiffonaded
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a couple healthy shakes of garlic powder
What you'll do:
1. Dice the potato and boil it for about 15 minutes. Drain when finished.
2. At the same time, prepare the quinoa. I cooked mine in vegetable broth, using two cups of broth to one cup of dry quinoa.
3. While those are cooking, dice the tomatoes and do a quick chiffonade to the basil.
4. Combine oil, vinegar and garlic powder to make the dressing.
5. When the quinoa and potatoes are finished cooking, combine them with the tomatoes and basil in a large bowl (get in as much tomato juice as you can).
6. Toss the dressing on and season with salt and pepper to your liking, I used a few generous pinches of salt. You also might add in a bit more basil, oil, or vinegar, depending.
You can also mix in some shaved parmesan or chunky feta cheese if you'd like. Also, literally as I was about to post this, Real Simple emailed me a similar recipe, using cucumber, tomatoes, and quinoa. It looks delicious if you're looking to add in some more vegetables!