Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Quinoa Salad is the ultimate summer dinner recipe! But it also makes a great side-dish for parties, picnics, and potlucks.
Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
Summer is almost over. There’s no denying it. I’ve unpacked my sweaters… ordered new boots … and have replaced my iced coffee with cozy, caramel-y lattes.
That being said, when I found bright ears of corn and juicy tomatoes at the Farmers market yesterday, I was elated! And decided we should celebrate summer with one more giant colorful salad! I’m calling this my “end of summer salad”, but obviously you can make it any time you can find the ingredients.
Ingredients for the Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa: Always be sure to wash your quinoa and pick it over before cooking.
- Sweet Corn: I love using fresh corn here, but feel free to use grilled corn instead.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Mini heirloom cherry tomatoes taste like heaven, but if you can’t find them, any variety will do!
- Peppers: I call for red bell pepper and jalapeño peppers. Feel free to just use one or the other if you prefer.
- Fresh Herbs: Fresh cilantro, basil, and chives add so much flavor the salad and salad dressing!
- Onion: Red onion and scallions add crunchy deliciousness to this salad! In a pinch, you can just use one or the other.
- English Cucumber: Regular cucumber will work fine if you cannot find this variety.
- Avocados: Be sure to buy large and ripe avocados. I like to buy an extra one just in case one of the them doesn’t end up “usable”.
- Feta Cheese: You could easily omit this ingredient to keep this salad vegan. Or use another variety of cheese such a goat’s cheese or sharp cheddar.
- Olive Oil: This ingredient is the base of the lime herb salad dressing! Use something tasty, but it doesn’t need to be fancy.
- Limes: You’ll use the lime juice and zest.
- Red Wine Vinegar: I do not suggest subbing this with another variety of vinegar.
- Honey: This balances the dressing by adding just a touch of sweetness.
- Garlic: Be sure to use fresh cloves and not garlic powder.
- Salt and Pepper: Season the dressing according to your own taste buds!
How to Make Summer Quinoa Salad
- Cook the Quinoa: I suggest cooking it according to package instructions. Then be sure to cool it completely before use. If you use hot quinoa, it’ll wilt the veggies and soak up the dressing too fast.
- Prep your Veggies: There are a couple of cups of chopped veggies in this salad. So plan ahead time wise and make sure you have time to chop them all.
- Make the Salad Dressing: Use a food processor to pulse all of the salad dressing ingredients until well combined.
- Assemble your Salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the veggies and herbs. Pour the salad dressing on top and toss well. Sprinkle of the feta and top with the reserved avocado! Serve at once!
Tools for this Recipe:
Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Quinoa Salad
For the Salad Dressing:
- 1/2 cup (113ml) olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons lime zest finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad:
- 1 and 1/2 cups quinoa washed and picked over
- 5 ears sweet corn kernels cut off the cob
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed, diced, optional
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1 English cucumber diced, optional
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chives minced, optional
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 large ripe avocados 1 cut into chunks and 1 sliced, divided
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
For the Salad Dressing:
- Combine all of the salad dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
For the Salad:
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Cool completely (about 25 minutes) before use.
- In a large salad bowl or serving dish, combine the cooked quinoa with the corn, tomatoes, both peppers, cilantro, basil, red onion, and cucumber, chives, scallions, and the diced avocado.
- Pour the salad dressing on top and toss well to combine. Top the salad with the sliced avocado, feta, and extra sprigs of basil and cilantro. Serve at once!