Fresh peaches are in season and in abundance right now, and this Quinoa, Corn, and Peach Salad is a wicked good way to feature this late summer fruit. I found the recipe for this unique grain salad at Christina’s Strawberries for Supper. I’ve tinkered with her recipe a tiny bit, and substituted sharp cheddar cheese for feta, only because I didn’t have any feta on hand.
I must say…the sharp cheddar mixed in with this Quinoa, Corn, and Peach Salad was perfect, and even more perfect when I added extra shredded cheddar on top!
Also, Christina’s recipe calls for grilling the corn. I will confess that I don’t own an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan (“whaaattt?” you’re saying…yeah, I know…). So I got creative, microwaved three ears of corn until tender and then popped them under the oven broiler, turning them every couple of minutes, until I got Ginger Wroot’s version of grilled corn. It turned out great, actually, as you can see!
Anyway, after they were cool enough to handle, I scraped off the cooked corn kernels into a bowl, and then mixed in the cooked quinoa, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro leaves, chopped green onions, chopped peaches, some chili powder and that sharp shredded cheddar. Christina mentioned adding a can of rinsed black beans and said it was delicious…I’m betting it is, and I plan to add black beans next time! I didn’t think of it until later, but I also think some finely chopped fresh jalapeno would totally rock in this salad too.
With or without the beans or jalapeno, you’ll end up with a summertime grain salad that’s sure to please. This Quinoa, Corn, and Peach Salad is hearty enough to eat as a meal by itself, but I think it would pair nicely as a side dish with chicken or pork.
This recipe makes plenty for six servings. How does it stand up for leftovers in the days that follow? Very well! Because the quinoa soaks up a lot of moisture overnight, I did add an extra teaspoon of olive oil the next day. Serve this Quinoa, Corn, and Peach Salad at room temperature or cold straight out of the fridge. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- Enough water to cook quinoa, per directions for your quinoa (about 1 and ½ cups water)
- 3 ears of corn on the cob, shucked and cleaned
- 3 green onions
- juice of 1 lime (about 1 ounce)
- 2 fresh peache
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup shredded sharp chedder cheese (or ½ cup crumbled feta cheese)
- salt to taste
- If grilling the corn, then preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, and then cook corn for 10-15 minutes, turning the corn as it starts to get dark and caramelized spots on the kernels. If not grilling, then place the corn with a bit of water in a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, and then microwave on medium high until barely tender, about 10 minutes, then turn oven broiler on high, remove plastic wrap, and place dish with microwaved corn under broiler, turning corn every two or three minutes to allow some kernels to get darkened and caramelized spots. Watch carefully so as not to burn the corn.
- Bring the quinoa and water to a simmer over a medium heat. Cover, and let it cook for 20 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid of the quinoa when most of the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa and lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.
- With a sharp knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob and scoop them into a bowl.
- Chop the green onion and add it to the bowl with corn. Peel and dice the peaches and add to the bowl with the corn as well.
- Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the corn and peaches. Chop the cilantro leaves and mix into the corn and sprinkle in the chili powder. Add a pinch of salt, to taste, and mix it all to combine.
- Over the quinoa, squeeze the juice of the other half of the lime and drizzle the olive oil. Stir the quinoa to mix the lime juice and olive oil around. Taste the quinoa to see if any more salt is needed. Add salt to your taste.
- Scoop the quinoa into a serving bowl and top it with the corn and peach mixture. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese (or feta) over it all and lightly sprinkle a couple pinches of chilli powder over the salad for a garnish. As an option, you can also mix up the quinoa, the corn and peach mixture, and the cheeses in a single serving bowl, and then pass extra cheese to garnish.
- Optional: add and mix in a can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- Optional: add ½ of a fresh jalapeno, finely chopped, for added kick and spice
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