Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Greek Style Quinoa Salad

If you have never tried quinoa, it's time to stand up and take notice.  Pronounced "Keen-wah," it is a South American grain that is actually a complete protein, making it a versatile, economical and gluten-free(!) option for a main dish or hearty side.  It can usually be found in the bulk or health food section of the grocery store.  Done as a Greek style salad, this is a refreshing, Summer-y way to enjoy it.  Oh, and make sure to rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking (it has a natural pesticide on it that can make it taste bitter if not washed off).  

Greek Style Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)

Salad Fixings (the "optional" marking indicates I didn't have them on hand for this particular rendition although would've added them if I did--but it turned out great without them!):
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced tomato (or halved grape tomatoes)
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion (optional)
1/4 cup diced kalamata olives (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or fresh mint (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Greek Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan or rice cooker, combine quinoa and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender (and has become translucent with a little white curlicue tail on each grain).  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, chop the salad additions and prepare the vinaigrette.  To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, herbs and sugar.  Whisk in olive oil until mixture is smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour vinaigrette over quinoa.  Stir in all the salad fixings except for the feta cheese.  Once salad is combined, gently fold in most of the feta cheese.  Reserve a small amount for sprinkling on top as a garnish.  Serve immediately or chill in the fridge.


  1. Yum...we have been trying to eat quinoa and every way I've made it I haven't enjoyed like I should. I will try this. Thank you! So when are you going to write a cookbook? I'm printing put all of your recipes. It would be easier for me to just buy your cookbook.

  2. Thanks, Amy! Hope you enjoy this use for quinoa as much as we do. I really appreciate your encouragement. A cookbook would be so, so fun...Lord willing, someday? : )

  3. And for anyone avoiding grains (for whatever reason), quinoa is technically a grain-like seed and is gluten free.