When the heat is too much a nice refreshing salad is what you want for yourself and for your kids…maybe even already ready to be served in the refrigerator 🙂
If that’s the case, you will love this recipe. Easy to prepare, perfect to make ahead, tasty and nutritious…what can I say more??
I would suggest to serve this recipe from 12 months of age due to the tomato acidity. If you already offered the tomato to your little one or if you switch the tomato with something else (bel peppers..) you can offer the salad even before.
The main ingredient is quinoa, a naturally gluten free seed that looks and tastes like a grain. I suggest quinoa for little kids because it’s easy to digest and when the temperature outside is super hot you want something easy for the tummy. To keep quinoa grains together and add moist to the salad I used steamed eggplants and tomatoes, that’s also a nice way to sneak in some veggies 🙂
I steamed them to make them more digestible, tender and also to keep all the water in and give moist to the recipe. Last but not least ingredient: mozzarella. Not a standard one…burrata. Burrata (burro in Italian means butter) is a particular kind of mozzarella that has a super creamy heart with an elastic skin. Burrata looks like a fresh mozzarella from the outside, but when you slice it the creaminess will pop out giving you the impression of eating a buttery treat. Sooo yummy. I understand that finding a good Burrata might not be easy in every country, so you can substitute it with a fresh mozzarella. you will have a less creamy result but still very yummy.
If you want to prepare the salad ahead I would suggest to cook the quinoa and steam the veggies and keep them in the fridge separately. When you want to serve the salad, combine all the ingredients. That’s the best way to give creaminess to the recipe without it to get soggy.
You can start peeling the eggplant and chopping it in cubes. Than peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes, chop in pieces. Steam the eggplants and tomatoes together for 8 minutes, set apart.
Meanwhile cook the quinoa: rinse the quinoa well under running water. Add 1 cup uncooked quinoa and 2 cups water in a pan, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 min. From 1 cup uncooked quinoa you should get almost 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Let the quinoa cool down.
In a pan roast the pine nuts for few minutes, mince them finely.
Mince the basil leaves.
Cut the burrata mozzarella in bite size pieces
In a bowl combine all the ingredients: quinoa + steamed eggplants and tomatoes + pine nuts + basil + burrata + pinch of salt (skip for babies under 12 months) and a drizzle of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 2 days.
Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!!!
- 1/2 eggplant peeled
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 small burrata mozzarella
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 6 leaves basil
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch salt
Peel the eggplant and chop it in small cubes
Peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes. Chop them in small pieces
Steam the eggplant and the tomatoes for 8 min. Set them apart
Rinse the quinoa under running water. In a pan add 1 cup uncooked quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and simmer for 15 min.
In a pan roast the pine nuts. Mince them finely.
Chop the basil leaves finely
Cut the burrata in pieces
In a bowl combine all the ingredients: cooked quinoa + steamed eggplant and tomatoes + burrata in pieces + pine nuts + basil + pinch of salt + drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm or cold.