If this salad doesn’t scream, “Take me to your next BBQ!” then I don’t know what does! This is a unique salad that most people haven’t tried, but trust me when I tell you that everyone who has tried this salad when I’ve made it . . . has loved it! Since quinoa is still kind of making it’s way into the food world, most people look at the salad and wonder what in the world that funny grain is! I briefly explain and then tell them to try it. Then, I watch with a big smile on my face as each person surprisingly loves the taste and goes back for more! This is great for a BBQ because it can be served at room temperature or chilled. So, it travels well and isn’t particularly temperature sensitive.
I have a sister who loves food like I do. We kind of gave her the “food snob” label in the family (lovingly, of course) because she is ALWAYS on the lookout for the next best restaurant or food find. We share a love of good food and when we find a dish that we love, we always share it with each other. This, my friends, is one of her finds that she graciously shared with me. And, I’m SO glad she did because it’s a keeper! The Mediterranean flavors come together is such a delightful way. This salad tastes fresh thanks to the veggies and herbs, it tastes tangy thanks to the balsamic vinegar, and is well-rounded with a slightly salty bite thanks to the feta cheese. Don’t worry; when I recently made this . . . I made the ENTIRE batch. Yep! It serves 20, and I made the whole blasted thing. I wanted to eat the leftovers for days. Yes, I did share about one third of it with friends, but Beau and I have been enjoying the rest these last few days. It works great as a side dish (it’s a great complex carb exchange for rice) or it can easily be made into a main dish. I’ve been eating it for lunch and just adding some protein to it and it’s deeeelish!
I thank my sweet sister for this recipe and if you try it, you’ll be thanking her too!!
MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD
Recipe Source: Amber Hunter (sister)
4 cups water
4 tsp. vegetable stock (I used Better than Bouillon from Costco)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 cup uncooked quinoa (Red/White or a mix)
1 large red onion, diced
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 pint cherry/pear shaped tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Bring the water, bouillon, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the garlic clove and scrape the quinoa into a large bowl.
Gently stir the onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, parsley, chives, and salt into the quinoa. Drizzle with the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until evenly mixed. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.
Makes Approximately 10 cups. Serves 20.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/2 Cup)
Fat: 5.1g (0.7g = Sat)