Mediterranean quinoa salad is a wonderfully healthy side dish or meatless main meal. Tender quinoa is tossed with fresh basil pesto, artichokes, kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes. Filling and flavorful!
My batting average for the weekend was .333. Which I guess is OK if you’re talking about baseball stats, but it’s a disappointing stat for recipe development in my house.
When I try something new, and test it on the family, I shoot for 3 out of the 4 of us giving it a thumbs up. When I ask for opinions, a flat, “it’s good”, isn’t good enough. I want them to say, “wow!” Is that asking too much?
In any case, two dishes didn’t illicit the hoped for response, so although we ate everything, I gave them a pass for the blog. I came home from work Monday night with a new recipe swimming around in my head. My 12 year old does her homework in the kitchen while I cook, so she’s usually my first taste-tester.
I just planted a couple of big basil plants for my garden, so I was in a pesto mood. Artichoke hearts, feta and kalamata olives rounded out this Mediterranean quinoa salad. Sophie tasted it after I added each ingredient, for “quality assurance” until we decided we’d hit a home run, with just the right combination of ingredients. Spencer gave it an, “Oh, my goodness! This is the kind of dish I can’t stop eating!” , which is a good thing in my book! We ate nearly the whole batch for a light vegetarian dinner, but it would be a great side dish with Beef Kebabs. Updated March 14th, 2014. I made it again yesterday, adding chopped red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, at my 13 year old’s suggestion.
Enjoy a big plate full of this Mediterranean quinoa salad!
- 4 cups cooked quinoa*
- 1/3 cup homemade or store-bought pesto
- 1 12 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts drained
- 8 ounce Greek feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1/2 cup diced purple onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
- Juice of half a lemon
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- For Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook and chill quinoa.
Toss gently with pesto to coat, add remaining ingredients, toss. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice
It cooks pretty much the same as rice and ends ups with the texture of couscous.
In a medium sized saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup quinoa and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Looking for more gluten free side dishes?