When it's too hot to cook, try serving a big summery salad for your main meal. Not just a simple garden salad, but a satisfying bowl layered with crisp veggies, grains or legumes, and fresh herbs. The combination is fresh, filling and light -- guaranteed to hit the spot on a warm day.
This salad bowl includes the classic summer veggie trio of sweet corn, tomato and avocado -- tumbled together with protein-rich quinoa and mounded over a bed of kale. As always, you can tweak the ingredients to your taste. Feel free to substitute another grain for the quinoa, such as wild rice or bulgur. As for the kale, a quick rub of the hardy leaves with oil and salt helps to soften them and coax out their flavor. Alternatively, choose another more tender green, such as arugula or spinach, and skip the rubbing step.
Tomato, Corn and Quinoa Bowl With Kale and Avocado
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bunch Tuscan/lacinato kale, ribs removed, torn into bite-size pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil to soften kale
Salt to taste
3 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
2 ears of corn, husked, kernels cut from the cobs
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup tricolor or red quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 small handful Italian parsley leaves, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 ripe but firm avocado, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Whisk the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, mustard, honey, salt, black pepper and Tabasco in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.
Place the kale in a large bowl. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons oil over the leaves and season with a generous pinch of salt. Rub the leaves until thoroughly coated (this will help to soften them).
Combine the scallions, corn, peppers, tomatoes, quinoa, parsley and cilantro in a separate bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup of the dressing over the salad and gently stir to combine. Mound the salad over the kale. (Or divide between individual serving bowls.) Top with the avocado and drizzle with additional dressing to taste. Serve immediately.
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