I get that feeling. I look at my watch. Scratch that, I look at the clock on my iPhone—after annoyingly plugging in my 4 number password twice because I have bubblethumbs—and realize, CRAP! It’s lunch!
If I’m not going out to lunch with my husband (we’re pretty good at day-dating) you’ll find me in the kitchen adding odds and ends from the pantry and fridge for a cobbled together salad of leftovers, canned beans and anything with a pucker.
Where this salad may have started off without much of a thought in serving up me, myself and I for a one-on-one lunch, it proved its worth in spades when I pulled it out of my recipe hat and made it for a lunch to serve 16 food bloggers.
It’s a good one for that.
All year long I’ve been creating and sharing recipes featuring DeLallo Foods and their plentitude of pastas, pestos, oils and vinegars. Happily, DeLallo was a sponsor again this year at Better Blog Retreat, which is where I pulled this salad out of my arsenal of recipes I know by heart to serve for one of our food blogger lunches.
Oh nothing. No pressure. Just making lunch for some of my favorite, most talented food bloggers who have millions of followers and create amazing recipes who are now going to eat something little old me is making.
But I had nothing to worry about. Cooking with ingredients from DeLallo never disappoints.
About the recipe
Having a stash of DeLallo’s Salad Savors in my fridge is touched with a bit of irony. Why? Because these packaged salad fixins’ should be named Salad Savers (ers instead of ors) because they save/rescue me in my meal time prep so much of the time. The gourmet salad ingredients are variously themed with ingredients that include vegetables, nuts and cheese and are all appropriately pre-portioned.
It makes things so easy.
I was going for a vegetarian salad and knew the ingredients from the Zesty Salad Savors would fit in perfectly with our easy, snackable menu. Roasted red bell peppers, already chopped. Briny kalamata olives that are already pitted. And feta cheese that should never be forgotten. They created my med-inspired base.
To that I added canned garbanzo beans and cooked quinoa for extra protein. When cooking my quinoa I like to add about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to the water to flavor the grain as it cooks. Be sure to bring your water to a boil before adding the salt so it doesn’t pit and ruin the bottom of your pan.
Arugula leaves and fresh basil leaves add the leafy green element I always crave.
And the simple garlicky dressing is just that. Simple. Be sure not to leave out the dried thyme. It rounds out the earthiness of the dressing. Crumble the thyme leaves between your fingers to release the oils and mellow the herb.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1½ cup dry quinoa
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- ½ teaspoon dry basil, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 package DeLallo Zesty Salad Savors
- ⅓ cup roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped
- ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup basil, thinly slivered
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions with ½ teaspoon salt added to the water. Cool completely.
- Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pressed garlic, basil and thyme. Whisk until well combined. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
- To a large serving bowl, add the quinoa, arugula, garbanzo beans, contents of the Salad Savors package—red bell pepper, kalamata olives and feta cheese.
- Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with basil. Season to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Thanks for stopping by. Cheers to getting into the kitchen and making something good.
This post is in partnership with DeLallo Foods. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.