Cooking for the family at this time of year is becoming a slippery affair because I have no idea from day to day who'll actually be home for dinner. My only reliable guest, Q, has already left for France for his Ironman event, Corbin is working on and off, Austin can usually be found at the local skateboard park and Maddie is now living on the streets. Yesterday I rushed home from errands to be here for my youngest after school, only to have her dart in the door, throw down her backpack and disappear until 9:00 pm. Trampolining, water fights, bike rides and generally hanging out on summer nights all (rightly) take precedence over any thoughts of family time. She assured me that a neighbour had thrown her a cob of corn at some point but obviously dinner isn't a priority when the weather is so great and friends are a-calling. So last night it turned out to be just Corbin and me enjoying some grilled salmon along with this ultra-fresh and light salad, which was more like a salsa companion to the fish than a salad. I could almost envision eating it for breakfast, it was so sweet and refreshing. I ended up tossing the leftover salmon into the remaining quinoa mixture and one of our absent guests can enjoy it for lunch sometime this week instead.
Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup cubed ripe mangos
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest
6 basil leaves, finely chopped
Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Allow to cool to room temperature.
While the quinoa is cooking, combine the fruits in a bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and add the chopped basil just before serving. Add half the dressing to the quinoa and toss gently. Assemble the salad just before serving and toss the quinoa with the fruits and cucumber. Serve the other half of the dressing on the side.
Rest of the week
June 19 We basically skipped dinner because we'd had a big Father's Day brunch
June 20 Grilled salmon with quinoa salad