Summer Travels (and a Delicious Quinoa Salad)
Photos by Signe Birck
I really can't believe August is almost over. Is it just me, or has summer flown by?! The past few weeks have been a blur of travel, writing, and cooking. I was recently in Virginia for a very cool Anthology magazine shoot (more on that later!), then on a road trip to Nashville with my sister Maria – she's getting married in a few months (!!) so we had bridal showers to throw, dress fittings, and lots of wedding planning to do. While in Music City, I had a chance to catch up with family and friends, and eat at the fabulous new Husk Nashville (which is every bit as good as I hoped and dreamed it would be) as well as Rolf & Daughters, which was recently named #3 in Bon Appetit's Hot 10: Best New Restaurants in America 2013. It's amazing to see my hometown finally being acknowledged as a food destination. In the coming weeks I'll be posting my personal picks on Where to Eat in Nashville...stay tuned.
This week, Brandon and I spent a few days in Maine with our friends Brook and Erin Hazelton and their two adorable kids. Erin's a writer as well - check out her fantastic blog The People I Like for fashion and life inspiration, and some very cool vintage clothing finds. They've got a family cottage north of Portland and we had a ball exploring the area, eating lots of lobster (and ice cream!), wandering the Botanical Gardens, going for runs through the countryside, and even doing waterfront yoga one morning. (I'll do a blog post on our trip, but you can see a few sneak peeks on my Instagram feed!)
But what I was really planning to write about today was my favorite summer quinoa salad. I've loved quinoa for awhile, but recently I've discovered red quinoa, which has an even nuttier taste and a beautiful color. For this recipe, I used a mixture of red, white, and black quinoa (which you can buy at Trader Joe's), but feel free to use any variety. I like to roast a big pan of diced eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash (much to Brandon's chagrin!) and mix it with cooked quinoa, sliced grape tomatoes, chopped basil and mint, toasted pine nuts, and a garlicky lemon-olive oil vinaigrette. Sometimes I'll add in feta as well, but it's delicious without it. This salad is healthy, simple, and is delicious eaten warm, room temperature, or even cold. I love making a big patch for a picnic, and then eating the leftovers cold for lunch the following few days.
Enjoy these last few days of summer...it will be fall before we know it![recipe:best-mixed-quinoa-salad-roasted-summer-veggies-recipe]