Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Summer vacation has caught up with us, which is evident in the tightness of our pants.  Time to lighten up and hopefully we can knock these extra pounds off before football season starts.  With this goal, we really try to kick up the flavors in our dishes, which helps to satisfy the rumbles in the tummy that a diet brings. 

Lemon, Feta, Tomatoes, Basil…perfect blend of flavors!

For some people quinoa sounds a bit intimidating, even exotic, which may make it seem unapproachable.  The good news is that it is very simple to cook, almost as easy as rice.  It also is very versatile, and can be used in place of pasta or rice in many dishes; but gives you much more nutrients.   Read more about Quinoa here.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 10 grape tomatoes, split in half
  • 1 tablespoon chiffonade, sliced basil
  • 2 tablespoon crumbled feta
  • 4 cups arugula or preferred greens

Method

Cook the quinoa according to the packaging.  While the grains are cooking prepare the vinaigrette.  Combine the lemon zest, juice, vinegar and mustard in a mixing bowl.  Whisk aggressively while slowly adding in the oil.  After the quinoa is cooked, transfer it to a shallow container and pour ½ of the vinaigrette over the grains, mixing well.  Adding the vinaigrette to the quinoa while it is still hot will help the flavor steep into the grains.  Add in the onions, tomatoes, basil and feta as well, giving the chance for all the flavors to mingle and blossom.   Cool the salad until ready to serve. 

When ready to serve, toss the greens with remaining vinaigrette and assemble the plate by putting the greens on the plate, followed by the quinoa salad.

Serves 2-4, depending how hungry everyone is!

Healthy and tasty summer dish!

My mom, Queenie, was the one that taught me to put vinaigrette onto the grains (potatoes, pasta, ect) when they came out of the pot.  This trick, in my opinion is the secret to any great cooked salad. (Queenie, thank you)

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Cheers to the fast approaching end of summer!  Enjoy!!

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