Monday, July 14, 2014

Recipe and a Giveaway: Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage with Mediterranean Quinoa

This healthy recipe is also versatile because it can be served hot or cold. If served hot, it makes a great dinner and can serve 4.  When served cold, it can be brought to a BBQ or family gathering as a great side dish for 8 people. 

If refrigerating to serve cold, double the dressing recipe so you have extra to add when  serving, as the quinoa soaks up the dressing.  The al fresco all natural sundried tomato chicken sausage is made with lean, skinless chicken meat, 70% Less Fat than Pork Sausage and has so much flavor that nicely brings together the Mediterranean ingredients. 
I truly like this dish served either way, but always (of course) with a nice glass of wine. For a wine pairing to accompany this particular recipe, you can look no further than the wine you use to make the recipe: Columbia Crest Chardonnay.   

Some tasting notes from the winemaker: "The Grand Estates Chardonnay opens with bright tropical fruit aromas that lead in to notes of soft oak and butterscotch. Ripe fruit flavors are bolstered by lively acidity, yet balanced deftly with a subtle creaminess." In my opinion, this is an easy-drinking white wine that is great for summertime. I enjoyed a chilled glass while I prepped my ingredients for the recipe below.

 Recipe: Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage 
with Mediterranean Quinoa

Serves 4 for dinner or can be a side dish at family gatherings

·         1 package al fresco all natural Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage
·         1 cup Columbia Cresta Chardonnay
·         1.5  cups quinoa
·         1 8 oz. package of crumbled feta cheese
·         1 large handful cilantro, chopped
·         1.5 cups chickpeas
·         3 cloves garlic, minced
·         ¼ cup green onions, chopped
 I used a combination of vibrant red and yellow cherry tomatoes. 

Dressing ingredients:
·         ½ cup olive oil
·         ½ cup red wine vinegar
·         1 tbsp. honey
·         1 tbsp. mustard (Dijon or yellow)
·         ½ tsp. black pepper
·         1tsp. sea salt


  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
  • ·While quinoa is cooking, slice chicken sausage in small bite-size pieces. Cook in a pan on Medium for about 5 minutes, turning to brown both sides.
  • Add the chickpeas and garlic to the pan and continue to cook on Medium Low for 3 minutes. Add the Columbia Crest Chardonnay to the pan and turn heat down to Low and simmer for 2 minutes, allowing the flavor of the wine to really infuse into the chickpeas.
  • Remove the quinoa from the heat and place in a large bowl. Add cilantro, green onions, cherry tomatoes and feta.
  •  Add the sausage and chickpea mixture to the bowl.
  • Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Pour into the mixture and stir so the dressing flavor gets infused in all the quinoa.
  • Serve immediately (hot) or refrigerate for at least two hours to serve cold. 


Enter a comment below to enter. Just answer the question, "What's your favorite summer side dish?" and you're entered to win this grand Prize:  

  • al fresco coupons for (2) free products 
  • al fresco trivet
  • spatula 
  • grilling brush  
  • Columbia Crest wine opener and bottle stopper
Winner will be chosen at random and announced next Monday, July 21. As part of this national promotion you can enter to win an ALL-EXPENSE PAID trip to the Columbia Crest Winery in Washington State.
All you have to do is ‘Like’ al fresco on Facebook and submit the required form as directed!


  1. My favorite summer side dish is Avocado and Black Bean Salad! Yumm :)

  2. This looks delish!! Love the chick peas...& the wine! :D

    My favorite dish is a tie between Hawaiin Fruit Salad & Boozy Fruit Skewers!

  3. I love a good greek salad

    dlatany at gmail dot com

  4. My favorite summer side dish is macaroni salad. I also like potato salad, but macaroni win by a hair.

  5. Yum! My favorite summer side dish is grilled veggies!

  6. The winner is Casey! Casey, please email me your mailing address so that al fresco and Columbia Crest can send you your prize! Thank you all for entering and stay tuned for more giveaways.