It’s impossible to have a week of summery salads without posting at least one salad with fruit in it.
Fruit in salad is quintessential summer, the ultimate celebration of fresh produce. So, here goes: Nectarine Feta Spinach Salad with Crispy Garlic Quinoa. Unlike berries or citrus (which can at times polarize people’s opinions of fruit in salad), nectarines are firm and hold up well to dressing, while still offering a delightful, sweet tang. Plus, feta adds a nice salty bite to cut the nectarines’ sweetness and balance the balsamic vinaigrette.
Can’t forget the crunch…
However, while nectarines are undoubtedly the star of the show, what really kicks this salad up a notch is the crispy garlic quinoa. Yes, you heard me. Crispy garlic quinoa. It adds the perfect crunch to your salad without taking away from how healthy you feel eating a salad – unlike, say, garlic bread croutons (no tea, no shade; there’s a time and a place for garlic bread croutons).
Crispy quinoa is fun, because when you spread the cooked quinoa out on a baking sheet, after mixing in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, the quinoa clumps together and becomes like a brittle. And when you get a bite of this quinoa “brittle”, combined with the other elements of the salad, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been oven-toasting quinoa all along.
- ¼ c. quinoa
- ½ c. water
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 6 c. baby spinach
- 1 nectarine, cut into ¼ in. slices
- ⅓ c. crumbled feta
- Crispy garlic quinoa
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions
- Once cooked, add 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the quinoa and mix to combine
- Spread quinoa onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, until it makes a thin, even layer
- Bake in oven for 18-22 minutes
- In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and honey. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking slowly.
- In a large bowl, toss spinach with the dressing. Top with nectarines, feta, and crispy quinoa, and gently toss again.