Dressings and Marinades lunch

Smoked Salmon and White Bean Quinoa Salad with a Basil Lemon Vinaigrette

Smoked salmon, white beans, and basil are probably not a combination you’ve had before, but very worth a try with this salad!

So, this salad began because I wanted to make a basil salad dressing. From there, the lemon got involved because a) my dad has an incredible Meyer lemon tree which makes adding lemon to everything irresistible and b) it seemed like it would spark up the basil. Next, I knew I wanted to add quinoa to make the salad more filling and I figured white beans would be a unique pairing. Of course, I couldn’t stop there, and the next thing I knew this had migrated from a veggie-friendly salad to chopping up smoked salmon to add on top. The rest is history: a unique combination of ingredients courtesy of my strange taste buds that actually go very well together!


(Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side)

For the dressing-

  • 1.5 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbs Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup avocado or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp agave or honey

For the rest-

  • 1 cup raw quinoa (you will cook)
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half moons
  • 1 can white beans
  • 3 slices smoked salmon
  • Optional – parmesan cheese (see notes)


  1. Cook quinoa according to package. For me this took about 30 minutes total. 
  2. Put all dressing ingredients in blender, except for a few leaves of basil. 
  3. Cut all veggies (including chopping the saved basil) then throw in large bowl with white beans, smoked salmon, and quinoa (once cooked). Drizzle with your dressing, toss, and enjoy. You’re done!


My dad claims this would be great with some parmesan cheese. I disagree but am putting it out there as an optional ingredient in case anyone is in his camp. 

What am I listening to as I make this?Everything Now” by Arcade Fire

What else can I make with my basil? I’m so glad you asked because I hate having leftover herbs go bad! Here are a few ideas:

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