Pan roasted veggies, quinoa, and a light lemon dressing make this Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Quinoa Salad a healthy and flavorful summer side dish!
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This whole quarantine situation has made it really difficult for those sudden food cravings. I’m only shopping every two to three weeks and I’m trying to do everything online as much as I can. So if I forget to add something, oh well. I just have to wait and add it to my next order. If I still have that same craving, I’ll usually order double the amount of whatever it is that I want.
The past few weeks, I’ve been craving eggplant. Give it to me breaded and fried, roasted, or sauteed. It doesn’t matter. I just have to have it! In the past month, we’ve not only eaten about three eggplants, we’ve also planted two eggplant plants (how many times can I say the word “plant” in a sentence?) in our garden.
So far, I’ve made eggplant Parmesan, breaded and fried it to throw on top of pizza, and made this quinoa salad. It’s going to be the summer of eggplant and I’m totally okay with that!
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Quinoa Salad
So let’s talk about how this salad came about. Quarantine cooking has been interesting. I love to cook! It’s therapeutic to me. But it’s also made me get a little more creative in the kitchen and a lot more resourceful.
While I was digging through my cabinets to make a side dish, I found an opened bag of quinoa with just enough left to throw together a salad. A little goes a long way, so if you have a cup, you’ll have a lot of quinoa to work with.
After going on a produce buying binge, I had some eggplant and grape tomatoes to use up, along with some crumbled goat cheese. It all came together to make one tasty salad!
If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa. And if you love sheet pan meals, this is almost as easy as “one pan and done!”
While my quinoa was cooking, I roasted the eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Allow everything to cool slightly. Then, toss it all together with some crumbled goat cheese (you could use feta, too) and a simple dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil, and roasted garlic.
- 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water
- 1/2 eggplant, or 1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, with peel on
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Small handful of fresh basil and/or oregano
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Roasted garlic clove (from above)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the quinoa, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and onion to the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the veggies for 25-30 minutes or until the eggplant has softened and the tomatoes start to burst. Allow to cool slightly.
- Add the quinoa to a large bowl and mix in the roasted vegetables and herbs.
- Top with crumbled goat cheese.
- Remove the peel from the garlic clove.
- In a small bowl, mash the garlic and add lemon juice, and olive oil.
- Season dressing with salt and pepper and stir into the quinoa salad.
Just like pasta salad, the longer this salad sits, the better it gets! Plus, it makes quite a lot, so you’ve got salad for lunch, dinner, or an easy side dish to last you most of the week!
Did you make this Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Quinoa Salad recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!
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