Believe it or not, this lovely Strawberry Basil Quinoa Salad was developed by a kid! Twelve-year-old Danielle McNerney took first place in the recent California Strawberry #KidsCookOff where mini chefs everywhere were challenged to create a five-ingredient strawberry recipe for a chance to win up to $500 in Amazon Gift Cards. Danielle’s recipe was so simple and tasty we couldn’t resist sharing with you.
It was a lot of fun checking out all the cute kids and their strawberry masterpieces – I wish they all could have won! The main judge, MasterChef Junior Season 3 Nathan Odom, made the final picks. Check out the three video submissions that landed the top three slots and then try their simple and delicious strawberry creations!
1st Place – Danielle, 12 – Strawberry Basil Quinoa
2nd Place – Sophie, 6 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with Strawberry Marshmallow Filling
3rd Place – Archer, 4 – Strawberry Guacamole
I prepared the quinoa dish to share with my co-workers and we all agreed it’s a winner. We loved the crunchiness of the pistachios along with the combination of sweet and savory flavors. For those who like to enjoy salads with cheese, you may want to add feta for a little extra pizzazz (that’s what we did).
- 1½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced or chopped
- 1 cup dried quinoa, cooked (makes about 3 cups)
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- * optional - salt and pepper to taste
- *optional - crumbled feta cheese
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions; set aside.
- To flavor the olive oil with basil, in small pan, heat the olive oil and then sauté basil until crispy, about 4 minutes.
- Remove basil and let drain on paper towel.
- In mixing bowl, gently stir all ingredients.
- Garnish with feta cheese and crumbled fried basil leaves.