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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a grain-like crop first domesticated for its edible seeds 3000 to 4000 years ago in the Andean region of South America. Because it’s a good source of protein, dietary fiber, magnesium, and iron, quinoa has made a comeback in recent years. Aside from the health benefits, quinoa tastes nice, too—mildly nutty and seedy. This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad makes an excellent way to dress up this pseudocereal. And because it’s served cold, the light salad makes a nice antidote to summer’s heat!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


Ingredients for salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup diced red peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (or halved cherry/grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup diced scallions
  • 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • 4 ounces bottled or homemade Greek-style salad dressing

Ingredients for optional homemade dressing

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t basil
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. (Tip: Use chicken stock instead of water for added flavor.) Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.

While quinoa cools, chop peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, and olives.

After quinoa has reached room temperature, stir in all chopped ingredients. Add the crumbled feta cheese and the pine nuts.

If you’re making your own dressing, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.

Pour dressing (bottled or homemade) over quinoa mixture and toss well.

Cover the salad and allow to flavor in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Serve cold.

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  • Corey Michael Dalton

    Dorothy: The recipe makes 8 to 10 servings—depending on how hungry your guests are. :) I think I could eat the entire batch myself!

    Olinda: I bet it would be excellent with couscous! I’ll have to give that a try some time.

    Julie: Glad you liked it! If I’m feeling too lazy to make the homemade dressing, I usually use Yasou Greek salad dressing. It’s got a good kick to it!

  • Julie S

    Awesome recipe! Made it this weekend, following the recipe exactly, including the homemade dressing. Was the first time I had made quinoa—I was pleased by the taste and the nutritional value. Will definitely make this again!

  • Olinda1111@yahoo.com

    It sounds healthy and delicious. Can hardly until I go to the store to buy the Quinoa and other ingredients. I will also try it with Couscous, I think it should also be good.

  • Dorothy Wormser

    Sounds just what I would like to serve to the company we’re expecting here in a couple of weeks, but how many servings does this amount make?

    Thanks,
    Dorothy