You may remember that last month I shared a recipe for Spinach and Cranberry Quinoa Salad, a salad I created hoping to submit to the 20 Minute Supper Club Favourite Food Fight. Unfortunately, I live on the wrong side of the US/Canadian border for that contest, so I had to watch from the sidelines.
Sensational Mediterranean Quinoa Salad won the contest, and I knew it was high time I threw together a quinoa and feta concoction of my own.
I drew inspiration for my version of a Mediterranean quinoa salad from the winning recipe and from this Army of Two Quinoa Salad I found very early in my quinoa journey.
I bought Kalamata olives to include in the salad, but the ones I bought have pits, so I could not use them. I could not figure out how to chop the olives off the pits and I know my sons would not forgive me pits in their salads. I have no idea what I am going to do with those olives now. Perhaps I will assign myself the task of eating two a day until they are gone.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts and Grape Tomatoes
In place of the olives, I used half a jar of marinated artichokes hearts and a bit of their oil in the salad. I was not impressed with the artichokes as their flavor competed with the fresh flavors of the other ingredients. I would omit them in the future.
I have been buying grape tomatoes of late because they look so much redder at the store. This week I decided to buy both grape and cherry tomatoes for comparison. The grape tomatoes were marginally tastier than the cherry tomatoes, and with their vibrant red I was satisfied that grape tomatoes are the best I can do for small tomatoes in my region this season and stay within my budget.
Are you intimidated by feta? I guess I was because although I like feta in a Greek salad and on a Mediterranean pizza, I put off buying feta for weeks. Always I had an excuse:
- I forgot.
- I couldn’t find it in the new grocery store.
- I wasn’t sure whether I wanted solid or crumbled.
Well, what a fool I was.
Yes, I’ve said it before about other quinoa recipes, but
this right here is my new favorite way to eat quinoa.
I love the crisp and crunchy cilantro and celery, and the feta with the vinaigrette made the perfect dressing. Yes, I would skip the artichokes next time but they didn’t stop me and my sons from loving this salad.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Grape Tomatoes and Celery
3/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups broth or water
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
optional: 1/4 cup sliced olives, marinated artichoke hearts, toasted pine nuts
You can add salt or pepper to water if desired, just remember the feta will be adding sodium to the dish as well. In fact, with all the other flavors you are adding, it will taste fine in this recipe if you use plain water to prepare the quinoa.
Bring the water/broth to a boil, add quinoa, cover and cook 15 minutes.
I started out using only half of the 1 lb. tub of tomatoes, but later decided to add the rest.
This couldn’t be easier once you get all the veggies chopped.
Fluff the quinoa when it has finished cooking.
Stir in all the veggies and cilantro.
Stir in the feta cheese.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and rice vinegar.
Pour over salad and toss for even coverage.
If the quinoa is warm, the feta cheese will melt a little and make the quinoa creamy. If you prefer, you can chill the salad ingredients before adding the feta so it doesn’t melt.
Serve the salad warm or refrigerate two or more hours to serve cold.
Remember, quinoa need not be boring. All the flavors and colors in this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad will have you craving food your body loves as much as your taste buds do.
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This is one of my very favorite recipes included in my free e-book, Keenonquinoa’s Favorite Quinoa Recipes. Download your copy today for an easy to print version of this recipe.
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