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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa with colorful vegetables and creamy cannellini beans plus salty feta cheese and kalamata olives mixed with a homemade vinaigrette.

The Sauce: Garlic Vinaigrette – Simple 4-ingredient dressing with minced garlic, dijon mustard, rice vinegar and olive oil. The flavors soak into hot cooked grains adding life to the blank canvas. Mixes in 3 minutes.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Go-to dish

Here’s the secret to this quinoa salad my family, friends and guests are raving about. Pour the vinaigrette over the cooked quinoa while it’s hot so it soaks up the flavors of the garlic, dijon, vinegar and olive oil dressing. After that, you can succeed with a variety of ingredient add-ins to your liking. It’s a simple and delicious Mediterranean Quinoa Saladway to use a boutique grain. Whether you’re a seasoned quinoa fan or a newbie, you’ll love this salad. It’s festive and colorful, delicious and healthy, easy and fast. It’s a go-to recipe in my arsenal.

You might also enjoy Quinoa Under Stained Glass, Risotto and Sushi on the Fly.

1 of 2 part series ”Quinoa Soup and Salad”. Part 2 Cajun Quinoa Chicken Soup. For more on quinoa click here and here.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Chicken with Tomatoes and Peppers
2011 AniversaRecipe – Quick Quiche with Ham and Veggies

Recipe: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 Min | Inactive Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Yield: 6-8 Servings | Level: Easy

Quinoa Salad
bell peppers, feta, beans and olives

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup large diced color bell peppers; mix of red, green, yellow or orange
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 10 Kalamata olives, rough chopped
  • salt

Garlic Vinaigrette
garlic, dijon, olive oil, vinegar

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil olive
  • dash of freshly ground pepper

Special Equipment – rice cooker

1 If the quinoa is not pre-washed, place in a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a rice cooker and set to cook, about 20 minutes. Once it turns off, allow to steam for 10 minutes without removing the lid.

2 Meanwhile prepare the peppers, beans, cheese and olives and set aside.

3 For the vinaigrette, mince or microplane the garlic in a small bowl. Add the mustard, vinegar and whisk. Slowly add the oil, drop by drop at first, then in a slow stream whisking continuously. Add a dash of pepper.

add the vinaigrette to the hot quinoa4 Once the quinoa has finished steaming and while still piping hot, scoop it into a bowl, pour 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over and mix well. The hot quinoa will soak in the vinaigrette.

5 Once the quinoa comes to room temperature, about 10 minutes, add the peppers, beans, cheese and olives. Adjust for salt and pepper as needed.

6 Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Substitute a saucepan for the rice cooker. Place the quinoa and water in the pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to steam for 10 minutes without removing the lid.

Buy the exact amount of olives on the olive bar to control waist.

The vinaigrette must be added to the quinoa while hot to properly season it.

Feta cheese and Kalamata olives are both salty ingredients. Added salt may not be needed. Taste and add salt as needed.

Quinoa is a boutique grain that’s actually a seed and relative to leafy greens like spinach and chard. Gluten-free, it’s very high in protein containing all eight amino acids plus a source of dietary fiber, B Vitamins and iron. It has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor with circular threads around each grain.

Serve this as a side salad with roast chicken or pork chops.

Excellent option for a summer canyon picnic or ‘symphony in the park’ supper.

Make a double or triple batch of vinaigrette and enjoy it drizzled over salad greens or fresh cut vegetables.

Dish Designer

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: February 21, 2013

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One Response to Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  1. AudreyBastian March 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I love this Quinoa Salad. It has the pungent tastes but is mellowed out by the quinoa. We’ve taken it to several gatherings and get a lot of great comments.

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