Need to feel the sunshine of the Mediterranean to cheer you up during the long days of winter? The flavors of the Mediterranean are so fresh and so very good for you! Eating this salad takes you to the warm shores of Greece and the laid back feeling of summer.
Glorious weather! I’m feeling very lucky to be in sunny San Diego in January! We’ve had several days of mid 70 degree weather and it makes me want to grill. Chicken artichoke sausages and quinoa salad tossed with the flavors of a traditional Greek salad sounds mighty good to me right about now!
When a salad is so flavorful you forget it’s healthy and just immerse yourself in the freshness, what could be better? Salty kalamata olives play against the sweet grape tomatoes. The crunch of an English cucumber and the earthy flavor of parsley come together beautifully when squeeze with the bright, fresh tartness of lemon. Can you feel the sunshine on your shoulders yet? Dig in and let the sunny feeling wash over you!
Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 cup rinsed, uncooked quinoa (I used Trader Joe's Tricolor Quinoa)
- 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 cup English cucumber, seeded and cut in large dice
- 12 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 10 kalamata olives, packed in water (not oil), rough chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and coat the grains in the onion butter toasting for several minutes.
- Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until moisture is absorbed and quinoa is tender but retains a slight crunch.
- Remove the seeds from the cucumber with a teaspoon.
- Chop the veggies in bite size pieces.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the warm quinoa.
- Add parsley, grape tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, lemon zest and toss to mix. Use a fork to keep the grains separated. Serve warm or chilled.