This is a pretty classic Mediterranean salad, but usually it’s made with bulgur. I swap the bulgur for quinoa and it turned out great. I love the refreshing taste, and the fact that I can easily make this the day before – it actually tastes better after a day or so.
This recipe was taken and modified from Epicurious. I reduced the oil, increased the lemon juice, and increased the amount of both parsley and mint. This yields 2-3 full meal servings, or 5-6 side dish servings.
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled to room temp.
- 1 1/3 cup chopped curly parsley
- 2/3 cup chopped mint
- 2 tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced and halved/ quartered.
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper
- 3-4 oz feta cheese (optional)
- Prep the parsley & mint: Rinse the parsley well ( or swish several times in a bucket of water). Lay them out in a thin layer between two dish towels ( I folded one in half. After they’ve become dry, pluck the leaves off the stem, pinching near the leaves. Finely chopped with a sharp knife. Do the same for the mint, but they don’t have to be chopped as fine.
- Whisk the lemon juice, minced garlic, and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I used roughly 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt in the dressing.
- Put the cooled quinoa in a large bowl (whatever bowl you plan to mix everything in). Drizzle in 1/4 cup of dressing, stir to coat.
- Add parsley, mint, cucumber, and tomato in with the quinoa. Toss to coat. Drizzle in the rest of the dressing, stir & season to taste. Store in the refrigerator for a few hours so the herbs can absorb the flavor.
- Before serving, stir in the feta cheese.
- Flat leaf vs curly parsley: I used the curly ones since it makes a lighter salad. The flat leaf parsley will give a stronger kick, and it might be too much for some people, so you might want to cut down on the parsley if you go for the flat leaf. Don’t chop them too finely either, just slice them thin.
- Hot house cucumber can substitute for Persian cukes. Cherry tomatoes would be great, too, but Roma tomatoes are almost always cheaper, so I went for that option.
- This refreshing salad is great by itself (yes, I eat a bowl of this as a main dish), on pita bread/ chips, or you can even use lettuce leaves as the “spoon” to scoop it up.