This recipe is the perfect make ahead lunch or dish for a potluck – it keeps well in the fridge, tastes great cold or at room temp, and only gets more flavorful after a day or two in the fridge. I make a big batch at the beginning of the week for my husband to take for lunch each day. While the flavors are spot on with the ingredients and proportions I’ve listed here, this type of salad is very forgiving. Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables, add some white beans for extra protein and fiber, or swap out a different nut or seed for crunch. Try it served with grilled fish or shrimp for a killer summertime meal!
Greek Quinoa Salad (printable version here)
Serves 4-6 as a main dish, up to 8-10 as a side dish
Ingredients for the salad:
1 ½ cups of uncooked, dry white quinoa (about 5 cups cooked)
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 English (sometimes called seedless) cucumber, seeds scooped out, diced in ½ inch pieces
1 fat scallion, sliced (I use the whole thing with the ends trimmed off; use two if your scallions are very small)
15 pitted green or kalamata olives, roughly chopped
½ cup oregano vinaigrette (recipe below)
¾ cup toasted pine nuts
1 ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Ingredients for Oregano Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Cook the quinoa to package instructions, making sure to add a hefty pinch of salt to the cooking water. This salt is crucial for flavorful quinoa and a delicious salad, so do not skimp! After cooking the quinoa, spread it out on a big sheet pan to cool and ensure maximum fluffiness.
Meanwhile, make the oregano vinaigrette by combing all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shaking it up well. Set aside ½ cup of the dressing for the salad and save the rest for another use. It’s a great marinade for grilled chicken and veggies or for tossing cauliflower in a few tablespoons of it before roasting!
Once the quinoa is cooled, combine all of it with the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, scallion and olives in a bowl. Add the dressing and stir well to coat. You want it to be nicely combined before you add the nuts and cheese so that these items don’t break up in the salad. Once the quinoa, veggies, and vinaigrette are well combined, gently fold in the pine nuts and feta cheese. That’s it! If you can let the salad sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving to let the flavors marry, that is ideal. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days. If you’re serving it after a day or more in the fridge, be sure to taste it again right before serving and adding a little more vinaigrette or salt if it needs perking up.