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Dining Alfresco? Make This Picnic-Ready Farmers Market Salad

Rachel Druckenmiller
June 24, 2016
June 24, 2016

As Julia Child once said, "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients." I couldn't have said it better myself!

I love the simplicity of recipes like this.

It highlights bright, fresh, seasonal ingredients—like asparagus, basil, and tomatoes—that you can find at your local farmers market.

If you're looking for a new spin on a side dish or want to change up your potluck routine, give this perfect-for-summer recipe a try!

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Tomato + Basil Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (will yield about 3 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody stem (bottom inch) removed and the rest chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup water
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Dressing ingredients

  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, leaves rolled and thinly sliced
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until almost all of the water is absorbed. DO NOT STIR QUINOA. Remove quinoa from heat and leave covered for 5 minutes to steam. Remove lid and fluff with fork. Set aside.

2. Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions for about 5 to 6 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add asparagus and ¼ cup water. Toss with tongs, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender but still bright green. Remove from heat. Add vegetables to quinoa and toss to combine.

3. Whisk lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, and pepper together. Add olive oil and continue whisking until evenly combined. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle basil on top, and toss everything to combine. Serve warm or chilled.

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Rachel Druckenmiller author page.
Rachel Druckenmiller

Rachel Druckenmiller, MS is a Wellness Director, Culinary Nutrition Expert, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Baltimore-based food blogger. After using food and natural medicine to heal chronic acid reflux and years of childhood illnesses, Rachel has learned that eating nourishing, real food is key to helping us look and feel our best and most energized.

In February 2015, she was recognized as the #1 Health Promotion Professional in the U.S. by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). In May 2015, her blog, Rachel's Nourishing Kitchen, was named as one of the Top 50 Clean Food Blogs by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Rachel offers a refreshing approach about what to eat and how to live in an inspiring and energizing way and provides dozens of delicious dairy-free and gluten-free recipes. She is a sought after speaker on the topic of healthy eating and workplace well-being. She teaches cooking classes and nutrition workshops and turns eating well into something we want to do instead of something we feel like we have to do. Rachel believes in “upgrading” our diet to nourish and fuel our bodies, so we can transform our lives and health.

Follow Rachel and her recipes on her blog, Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen, and on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.