Greek Quinoa Salad
OKAAAAAAAY. Yes. Greek quinoa salad. I'm feeling you. You're almost too good to be true, you are.
How did I not think of doing this before?? Because Greek salad is great. And the foodstuffs that turn a pile of lettuce into a Greek salad, i.e. black olives, feta cheese etcetera, would obviously taste great mixed into quinoa as opposed to mixed greens, so why not substitute the greens for quinoa, eh?
And so, today I present to you quinoa, mixed with some of the best Mediterranean/Greekesque add-ins ever - black olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, red onions, and a flavor-packed olive oil, soy, garlic, lemon dressing.
GAWD it's good.
As I was making this quinoa salad, I was legitimately concerned that I would have nothing left to photograph by the time I finished "tasting" it. It's just one of those dishes that keeps you coming back for more.
It's like, should I go for seconds? For sure. Thirds? Why not? Fourths? I think I can manage that. Fifths - oh whoops, the bowl is empty.
Thank goodness, I managed to restrain myself just enough to avoid polishing off the entire serving bowl before I took these photos for you.
So what makes this Greek quinoa salad so awesome?
Well, the list of add-ins mentioned previously should be enough to give you some idea. Each single ingredient in this salad has so much flavor and deliciousness in its own right. Aside from the actual quinoa perhaps, which, admit it, is pretty tasteless on its own.
Like the black olives. Black olives are packed with flavor. Now, I understand that some people out there detest black olives in a very intense way. So I guess feel free to swap the black olives for green ones if you must.
And the sun-dried tomatoes. I do not like raw tomatoes. At all. But I love any type of cooked/grilled/roasted tomato. And I definitely also love sun-dried tomatoes. The texture and flavor pay-off from sun-dried tomatoes is UHMAZING.
And feta cheese. Salty, yummy feta cheese. Had to throw some of that in there, obvs.
And the pine nuts. Now, I don't know the first thing about the origin of pine nuts, and they're very possibly not Greek-originated, but pine nuts are small and cute and fancy and delicious and the best nutty, crunchy addition to this Greek Quinoa salad.
And red onions. Again, probably not Greek. But they do add a great sharp flavor kick to this quinoa salad, so I chopped some up and threw them in as well.
And the dressing. It's the besttttt.
Main ingredient: olive oil, obviously. And then soy sauce, for so much flavor. And a kick of lemon juice, for tartness. And freshly minced garlic, a generous amount of it. Because garlic. And salt and pepper. Can't forget the salt and pepper.
Don't go too heavy on the salt though, because the soy sauce and the black olives and the sun-dried tomatoes and the feta cheese are already quite salty on their own.
Lunch, dinner, side dish, main dish - this Greek quinoa salad is perfect for any meal, hot, warm, or cold, freshly made or eaten a day later.
Greek Quinoa Salad
Yield: large serving bowl
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups water
1 small red onion, diced
2/3 cup sliced black olives
2/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
Cook quinoa in the water according to package instructions. Add to a large bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.
Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over quinoa salad. Toss to coat evenly. Garnish with more feta cheese and pine nuts if desired. Serve warm or cold.