I am especially fond of this recipe as a I served it to my daughter’s bridesmaids for lunch along with a salad as they were getting ready for the wedding.  It is a healthy, light and satisfying combination with lots of vegetables and  great summer flavors.  It would also be a great accompaniment for a fish or even in a wrap and a perfect contribution to a summer picnic.  In my opinion, toasting the quinoa gives it a deeper flavor and helps the small grains maintain their integrity during the cooking process. I like to add lots of fresh herbs and some lemon just before serving to add a pop of color and freshness.  I used basil and parsley, but you could add chives, dill or whatever you prefer.

serves 6-8 as a side


  • 1 1/2 cups tricolor quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 6 baby bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 large bunch basil finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 or so cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper

Directions.  Preheat oven to 400.  Place eggplant, zucchini, squash and peppers on a large parchment-lined baking sheet.  Toss with a generous amount of olive oil to coat and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.  Roast in oven for about 15 minutes, tossing once, until tender and turning golden.  Remove from oven and set aside and allow to cool.  Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté leeks for about 5 minutes until tender and translucent, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper.  Add garlic and stir another minute, then add quinoa.  Increase heat and stir to toast the quinoa and coat with leeks and garlic about 2 minutes.  Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, simmer quinoa for about 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.  Allow to rest at least 10 minutes (can be made ahead if desired).  In a medium non-stick skillet, heat an additional tablespoon of oil and add corn sautéing on medium heat, stirring frequently until corn starts to turn slightly golden and caramelizes on the outside (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, toss quinoa, roasted veggies, corn and fresh herbs.  Squeeze in lemon juice and season to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!