One of my best mint creations of all time, however, is this southern-inspired Mint Julep Quinoa Salad. It features fluffy quinoa, ripe juicy peaches, sweet succulent corn, charred red onions, hearty sweet potato, cozy black-eyed peas, and crunchy pecans, all topped with a seductive bourbon peach balsamic dressing. This summer quinoa salad is a symphony of flavors, colors, and textures!
Make it Work for YOU
This summery fresh mint recipe is incredibly versatile, so I'm confident it will work for all your parties, potlucks, and picnics this season. Are you grilling and chilling on a summer weekend? If so, this salad can work great as a side dish. Going on a picnic? Bring it along; it travels great since all of the ingredients are quite hearty. Having a party on the patio or deck? Serve it on a platter with some fancy peach garnishes. This summer quinoa salad even works well as a main course thanks to the protein from the black-eyed peas, quinoa, and nuts.
This picnic-ready vegan quinoa salad is very make-ahead friendly, and you have a few different options for preparing it in advance. At the least, make the quinoa ahead of time and store it in the fridge overnight or for a couple days; the texture is actually better if you cool the quinoa completely before adding the dressing. This easy fresh mint recipe is also a great way to use up leftover quinoa.
To save even more time, you can do all the grilling in advance. Grilled sweet potatoes, onion, and corn can easily sit in the fridge overnight in a sealed container. You can also make the dressing a day or a few days ahead. When you're ready to serve, just add the chopped peaches, pecans, and mint. I don't suggest adding those items more than a couple hours in advance since they'll get soggy.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Quinoa. Feel free to use other colors of quinoa or even farro instead; just make sure to adjust the cooking method accordingly.
Black-eyed peas. I love the southern flair these add, and they're a great source of protein in this vegan quinoa salad. You can use chick peas if you can't find black-eyed peas.
Corn. In season, I love to grill corn outside and then cut the kernels off the cob. Out of season, I grill frozen corn indoors. Trader Joe's sells bags of frozen, grilled corn which are incredibly convenient and make preparing this picnic-friendly fresh mint recipe a breeze.
Peach balsamic vinegar. I love the flavor that peach balsamic adds to this summer quinoa salad. Look for it at an artisan oil/vinegar store. If you can't find it, regular white balsamic will work; however, if you use regular white balsamic, I suggest increasing the amount of maple syrup to compensate. Dark-colored balsamic won't work well since it will turn the quinoa brown.
Bourbon.If you're sensitive to alcohol or are preparing this dish for children, then omit this. However, if you're a bourbon lover, I adore the richness it brings to the dressing. You may want to start with half the amount and then increase it to your own tastes.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cheers to Mint Julep Season
Let this vegan quinoa salad be your new summer best friend. I love how unique and surprising this fresh mint recipe is. It's incredibly versatile, make-ahead friendly, and easy to transport. Especially for a party or potluck, I really enjoy preparing options that can serve as a main course for some people and a side dish for others.
Cheers and happy mint julep season! This southern-inspired, summer quinoa salad has become a go-to for us and we hope it will for you as well.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
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