This dish was so simple and lovely. The hardest part about making it was trying to not eat the ingredients as I put it together! Make it as a lunch for yourself, or serve it as an appetizer with a meal.
Why purple basil? Well I went to get basil at the farmer’s market and the gentleman selling it only had purple basil- I’ve never tried purple basil before so I was excited to give it a shot. It tastes exactly the same, the only difference is that the leaves are a little thicker. It adds a beautiful color to the salad though!
Also- For the best, most delicious salad possible- use good tomatoes. I purchased mine at my local farmer’s market and they are so perfect. Don’t use those stiff, conventional tomatoes otherwise you won’t enjoy this salad in the same way.
Makes: 1 plate (1 serving for lunch or 2- 4 as an appetizer, feel free to add more avocado if you make it as an appetizer)
What You’ll Need:
- 2 organic heirloom tomatoes in two different colors (I chose a purple and a red one)
- 8 basil leaves (I used purple)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cup chilled red quinoa (see note below)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Note for the quinoa: If you don’t have quinoa ready and chilled (a lot of people probably don’t) you can make it on the spot and then throw a half a cup in the freezer in a small bowl for a few minutes to chill it. To make quinoa, simply put 1 part rinsed quinoa (rinse it in a thin wire strainer) with 2 parts water in a sauce pan, covered until it’s fluffy (make sure to fluff it occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom).
Rinse, dry and slice your heirloom tomatoes into thin slices. Layer them in a circle around the outside of the plate, every other color.
Chiffonade the fresh basil and sprinkle it on top of the tomatoes. Scoop red quinoa into the middle of the tomato circle. Slice half an avocado and put the wedges on top of the tomatoes evenly (see picture).
Carefully drizzle 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over the entire plate. Next slice off a little lemon wedge, then with the rest of the lemon half squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the plate (careful not to squeeze too much). Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the entire plate. So light and refreshing!