Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Written by Rachel, Posted in Beans, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Legumes, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Potlucks, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Salads, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian
We took a sick day a while back. But, we still needed to eat. I was going to make this quick salad and head back to bed. I felt a cold coming on and had done something to my back. So I was enjoying many many episodes of Gilmore Girls.
The tough thing about working from home and working as a food blogger is that every meal that is deemed good enough for the blog has to have photographs. It takes a lot of effort to stop working. It takes a lot of self control to force myself to just focus on dinner and not wonder whether or not I’m making a mistake by not photographing or writing it down.
Sometimes I’m glad when the sauce breaks.
One of my go-to easy meals to make for a sick day, or to take to a potluck (that hopefully doesn’t fall on the same day), is a quinoa salad. This one is full of veggies and protein. Just what we needed to give us a little lift when we weren’t feeling our best.
A veggie that will add both flavor and color is corn. Corn season is in full swing, so I’m using it in just about everything I can think of. Cutting corn off the cob when it’s not going to be used right away is a good idea, since the sugars turn into starch after a few days, making it less sweet. Corn that you’re not going to use can be frozen raw, for another time.
Collard greens, kale, or chard are cut chiffonade-style (thin ribbons). They add extra nutrients to this already healthy dish.
My in-laws went to Nazareth last year and brought me back some saffron. I’d never used it before and it was fun to experiment with in this dish. If you don’t want to use saffron, feel free to leave it out. If you want to use it, just a pinch will do.
The dressing is made up of some of my favorite things: lemon, honey, olive oil, and garlic.
I like a bit of feta in a salad like this. If you wanted to make this a vegan salad, omit the feta and honey and use your favorite vegan cheese and some maple syrup instead. For added protein (quinoa has lots too) I added garbanzo beans (chick peas).
There are plenty of fresh herbs, lots of cucumber and squash, and kalamata olives (for those of us that like them – Tim does not, but I love them).
I served this simple meal with some nectarines and plums, and a slice of lemon to squeeze over top.
There were leftovers, so a day or two later we had the same thing for lunch, topped with a fried egg.
My favorite way to fry eggs is covered over pretty low heat. Cracking the eggs into a bowl before adding them to the pan will allow any shells to be removed without scorching your finger on the bottom of the hot skillet.
Serve the salad cold, topped with a hot egg.
If you’re good at poaching eggs, those would be great on top too. One of my summer goals is to learn how to make Eggs Benedict, so hopefully my poaching skills will improve slightly. However, I’ve been distracted by our lovely front yard and the beautiful weather and haven’t done much learning.
I think we have about three more months of summer here in L.A., so I’ve got time.
- 1-2 C cooked quinoa
- 1-15 oz. can garbonzo beans
- 1/2 C summer squash, chopped
- 1/2 C cucumber, chopped
- 2 T basil, chopped
- 1 T oregano, chopped
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped
- 1 cob corn, cut off the cob
- 1/4 C feta (optional)
- dressing: juice from 1/2 lemon
- small pinch saffron
- 1/8 to 1/4 t smoked paprika
- good pinch pepper
- to taste salt
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 t honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch ground ginger
- 1/4 C olive oil
- olives (optional), for topping
- lemon slices, for serving
- Combine the quinoa with the beans, veggies, herbs, and feta.
- Whisk together lemon juice through ginger. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it in, creating an emulsion.
- Mix dressing with salad.
- Serve topped with olives and a squeeze of lemon.