roasted tomato, spinach and quinoa salad

May 6, 2011

Roasted Tomato Spinach Quinoa Salad

I love this kind of salad. It’s my favourite kind to make when people are coming over or to take to a party or pot luck. Why? Because you can choose from so many different grains and so many different flavour/ingredient combos that it’s like a never-ending new dish, except that the idea is totally recycled. Don’t believe me? See here, here, and here.

This particular salad has several winning features. Roasted cherry tomatoes a) look adorable and rustic, and b) add pops of sweetness to every bite. The red onion, caramelised in balsamic vinegar and sugar add even more flavour pow! and compliment the tomatoes ever so well. Then finally the mint does it’s job alongside the spinach adding green, along with a glorious scent and a even more taste explosions.

Take it to your next picnic, pot luck, or… book club. Heck, just make it for dinner.

Roasted Tomato Quinoa Salad

Roasted Tomato, Spinach and Quinoa Salad


  • 9 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz quinoa (1 1/4 cups)
  • olive oil
  • 14-oz vegetable broth/stock (1 3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1 bunch mint, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped

For the onions:

  • 2 small red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Start with the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the tomatoes in half and put on a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt, a twist of black pepper and a pinch of brown sugar. Stir well, making sure all the tomatoes are cut side up and roast for 40 minutes until shriveled and golden.
  2. Cook the quinoa: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add quinoa and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, onto the onions: Heat a large frying pan with 2 tbsp olive oil, add the onions and cook on low until completely soft. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and plenty of seasoning and cook for another 5 mins or so until dark, sweet and sticky.
  4. To assemble the salad, squeeze the lemon juice over the quinoa and add 2-3 tbsp olive oil, the garlic and most of the mint and parsley. Stir well and season to taste.
  5. Fold in the spinach and tumble onto a large serving platter. Top with roasted tomatoes, onions and the rest of the herbs.

Top tip: Cook the quinoa a day ahead, cover and refrigerate. Bring back to room temperature before assembling rest of salad and serving. But note that the spinach won’t wilt if you do it this way.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

brandi May 6, 2011 at 9:00 am

i love grain salads like this, too. so good and easy!


my little celebration May 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Looks delishy and oh-so wholesome :D.


Keane May 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I love these types of grain salads! Not too long ago I had something similar but it had both farrow and quinoa. Great recipe!


Sisters Running the Kitchen May 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

this looks perfect!!!! right down my alley. will be making this soon ;)


Sarah@The Flying ONION May 8, 2011 at 6:04 am

This looks heavenly!! I’ve been really into quinoa and all of its nutritional benefits lately, so I’m definitely making this recipe. It sounds so refreshing. :D


holly May 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

yum yum yum! this is very similar to many of the lunches that i have been eating lately…


youngandfoodish May 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Do you leave the garlic whole and raw?


Angharad May 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Oops! Good catch there Daniel :)
The garlic should be diced very small or minced and then added, raw.


youngandfoodish May 10, 2011 at 2:14 am

And the mint and parsley? Should they be chopped?

Ari May 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

Tried this out last night to great acclaim from the roommates. Thanks!


Angharad May 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm



McCall March 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’m glad I came across this recipe! Looks great, I can’t wait to try it!


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