Summer in Colorado has been HOT this year. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of ways to use fresh vegetables that don’t require roasting or extended cooking of any sort (because this has the unfortunate side effect of making my house feel like an oven for the rest of the day).
I have happily settled on this quinoa salad. It is filling, cool, and full of fresh Mediterranean flavors: tomatoes, olives, feta, red onion, and any big handfuls of herbs you care to trim from your garden. I used chives, mint, basil, and parsley.
Another fun fact: this is a really great recipe to deliver to new mothers. Dulcie and I have each made this recipe for a friend with a newborn (Hi Rachel! Hi Kristi!) and it was a hit…we think! It doesn’t need to be eaten immediately, is meant to be eaten cold or room temperature, and is low on the sorts of things some nursing mothers need to avoid (gluten, soy, egg, and dairy -- the feta is easily omitted).
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar (although I’ve made it with white balsamic and think I might actually prefer that, so feel free to experiment here)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- juice from 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 c. quinoa (measured dry, then cooked according to usual directions)
- 1/2 c. chopped kalamata olives
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 c. fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 c. (or more, to taste) crumbled feta cheese
- 1 c. chopped mixed herbs (parsley, mint, basil, cilantro, and chives are all excellent)
Cook quinoa according to usual directions (I do 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water). Fluff and let quinoa cool as you prepare the other ingredients.
For dressing: combine all ingredients in a large liquid measuring cup and whisk. Feel free to use a fork if you want to save a dirty dish – I did.
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour over the dressing, and toss to combine.