Fregola/Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Lemon Vinaigrette

IMG_9010If you aren’t familiar with fregola or fregula pasta, it is small round Italian pasta that has been toasted. You can very well substitute the pasta with quinoa. I recently had traveled from San Francisco to Tampa and while on the plane the lunch that was served was a salad of chopped romaine lettuce with fregola pasta and that’s where I got my inspiration for this dish. This is a nice light dish for spring and summer and continues to fuel my obsession with roasted vegetables. 


Here’s what you’ll need:

8 oz fregola pasta (cooked according to package) or cooked quinoa

1 cup of cauliflower chopped

2 rainbow carrots, peeled and diced

1 bundle of broccolini

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 lemons, juiced & zested

3 tablespoons honey

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped chives

poached chicken breast (optional)

crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large stockpot to a boil and season with salt. Cook fregola or quinoa according to packaging and drain completely when cooked al dente.

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In a large bowl, mix lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic and honey together. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Place chopped vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables evenly coating with olive oil. Roast in oven 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.


If you choose to add a protein, I recommend poached or grilled chicken breast. Place raw chicken in a medium stock pot and cover with water. On medium high heat, bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in water 5 minutes. Remove from water and dice.


In a large bowl, place fregola or quinoa, roasted vegetables, chicken (optional) and feta (optional). Garnish with chopped chives. Pour dressing over salad and toss.


If your making this for a group, I recommend putting the chicken and feta on the side and your guests can add them if they’d like. This way you are still accommodating your vegetarian peeps.

This can be served warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.


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