Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad is hands down my favorite salad of the summer. I love the combination of sun-ripened tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and sweet basil tossed together with Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. I’ve eaten this flavor-packed salad every day for the past week and can’t get enough. It’s so good!
This recipe takes the classic flavors of Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic dressing) and bumps them up a notch by including Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice. Not only does it add flavor and healthy whole grains to this delicious salad, but over 15 grams of protein, vitamins, nutrients and fiber as well. Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice mixes are also certified gluten-free, so this dish can suit a variety of diets – and believe me, everyone will want to get in on this salad.
Begin by bringing a cup-and-a-half of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan and then stir in the quinoa and brown rice. An assortment of herbs and spices are conveniently included in each package of Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice, so simply cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook until most all of the liquid is absorbed. Perfectly seasoned quinoa and brown rice will be ready in 15 minutes or less.
When the quinoa and brown rice are finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat, take off the lid and let it stand for five minutes. Then, give the grains a stir and transfer the mixture to a large plate to cool for about 15 minutes or until just warm to the touch. This step can also be done a day ahead of time, by cooking, cooling and refrigerating the quinoa and brown rice in an airtight container until ready to assemble the salad.
While the quinoa and brown rice are cooling, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and pinch of salt. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Set aside. If you happen to have some bottled balsamic vinaigrette on hand, you can use it instead.
Next, place the quinoa and brown rice in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Toss everything together and add about ¼ cup of the balsamic dressing (you’ll have some leftover). Give the salad a taste and add more dressing if needed and perhaps a pinch more salt. Store the remaining balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight container for another use. This salad tastes great any way you serve it - slightly warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Filled with whole grain goodness and bright summertime flavor, Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad is a healthy and delicious meal that’ll make your taste buds sing. Be sure to add this fresh, simple dish to your list of must make summer meals. It’s my new favorite salad and I bet it will be yours, too. Enjoy!
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Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 pkg Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice - Italian
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 8 oz. small fresh mozzarella balls (pearls) or diced fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)
- salt to taste
Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan and stir in quinoa and brown rice. Cover the pan, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until most all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat, take off the lid and let stand for five minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large plate to cool for 15 minutes or until just warm to the touch. Place the quinoa and brown rice in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Toss everything together and add ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette. Add more vinaigrette and/or salt to taste. Serve salad slightly warm, room temperature or chilled. Salad will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and pinch of salt. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Store vinaigrette in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Makes 6 servings
Original recipe by Holly
You can find Quinoa & Brown Rice Caprese Salad and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.