Grilled Corn Caprese Quinoa Salad combines grilled corn with caprese flavors, quinoa, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is healthy, delicious, and is what summer is all about!
I know it’s not even summer yet, but to me spring is so over. I’m done with the hay fever and the all-over-the-place weather. One day it’s hot as blazes and the next day we’ve got a full-fledged rainy day. I know we need the rain (being in CA we always need the rain), but a little consistency would be nice. The end of the school year chaos will come to a screeching halt soon, too, and I’ll be so happy when that happens. 🙂
You know why else spring is so over to me? Because summer produce is everywhere I turn. Last week at my farmer’s market cherries were everywhere, right along with peaches, apricots, nectarines…and corn. Corn, glorious corn! I’ve been seeing it everywhere and it makes me so happy. So happy that I did something unexpected.
I combined grilled corn with caprese salad.
I’m not sure why creating this salad took me by surprise, because I love grilled corn and almost always have some in the fridge in the summer. Nobody in my house really cares for it (who are these people??), but that means there’s more for me.
Caprese is another thing that I go overboard on — there’s just something about the magical combination of fresh mozzarella, basil, and sweet, juicy tomatoes that you only get during summertime. I’ve been known to swap the tomatoes out for strawberries and peaches in caprese too. The options are endless. 🙂
So yes…this salad just kind of happened because I wanted to make something caprese and then I saw my corn and just got grilling. The rest is history. Delicious history.
The quinoa makes this hearty and satisfying, and if you’re not into it, swap it out with orzo, farro, couscous, or whatever you like. You can even make this vegan by subbing the mozzarella with avocado — it’s so nice how customizable this salad really is. Just be sure you toss it with the tangy balsamic vinaigrette, because it just makes these flavors pop.
This Grilled Corn Caprese Quinoa Salad is fresh, sweet, and tangy with charred flavor from that special addition of grilled corn. It’s plenty hearty to have as a meal, or serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or steak. This salad is summer in a bowl, and I’ll definitely be eating it (and serving it) all summer long. 🙂
More summer recipes!
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package instructions and drained
- 2 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 green onions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, halved
- ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced into chiffonade*
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- While the quinoa cooks, preheat the grill to medium. Place the corn on the hot grill and grill for about 15-20 minutes, turning about every 4 minutes, or until nicely charred. Remove from heat and let stand until cool enough to handle.
- Place the corn on a cutting board one ear at a time, and place on it's side. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the top down on one side, then turn and continue removing the kernels until all of them have been removed. Place the corn in a large bowl.
- Add the drained quinoa, cherry tomatoes, green onions, mozzarella, and fresh basil to the bowl and set aside.
- Place the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper, to taste in a small bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. Serve and enjoy!
If you're not a fan of quinoa, this salad would also be delicious with farro, couscous, orzo pasta, or any other of your favorites!
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.