APPETIZERS/ MAINS/ SALADS/ SIDES

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta

Hello and welcome! Let’s kick off this last week of May with a delicious salad platter. I love this salad because it’s basically layers of fresh veggies drizzled with a wonderfully light feta and lemon dressing. When presented to a table, it’s beautiful and so very inviting. Especially on a hot summer day. We have quinoa and beans, for protein and a little heft; we have some super greens, a rainbow of vegetables and some red grapes thrown on for a juicy sweet bite. Let’s get right to it!

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Quinoa

First we will cook the quinoa so it can cool off a little before it hits the salad. I am using a store-bought blend of red, black and white quinoa. I like this mix because each color of quinoa has a slightly different texture when cooked.

Rinse and drain 3/4 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and add it to a small saucepan, along with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed.

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Spread the cooked quinoa out on a sheet tray to let it cool. Set the quinoa aside.

Lemon Feta Dressing

While the quinoa is cooking, you can make the dressing. It’s very simple. We have 1/3 cup feta, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, the zest from 1-2 lemons, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Crush the dried oregano with a mortar and pestle to break up the dried leaves.

In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Prep all the veggies. Which veggies you use is entirely up to you! I have a mix of super greens, including baby spinach and baby kale; I have a red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers, half an English cucumber; red grapes, sliced in half; a small red onion, sliced thinly, Kalamata olives and a yellow heirloom tomato. Cut everything into bite size pieces.

Add 1 can of drained and rinsed beans (I have Cannellini beans) to the quinoa. Pour about half of the lemon feta dressing over the quinoa and beans, stir to mix the dressing in.

Build the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Use a large rectangular platter for this, or round is fine too. You can even use a sheet tray if you want!

Spread the greens out as the first layer of the salad. Then top the greens with the dressed quinoa and bean mixture.

For the rest of the veggies, we will just scatter them evenly over one another to layer up a rainbow of color and texture. So next, I went for the cucumber.

Next, the multi-color bell peppers. And then I poured on the rest of the dressing.

Follow the dressing with Kalamata olives and the halved red grapes.

For the heirloom tomato, I sliced the large tomato into wedges. Dot the top with the tomato wedges. Top with the red onion slices.

Drizzle the whole salad with a little more olive oil and sprinkle some flaky finishing salt and fresh cracked black pepper over the salad.

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For the final touch, you can add more crumbled feta to the top.

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And that’s it! Mediterranean Quinoa Salad – a gorgeous-looking salad with fresh, light lemon and feta flavor. I love the endless combinations of perfect bites you can create with a salad like this. The little pops of the tri-color quinoa are a perfect texture difference form the soft or crunchy veggies. The grapes are another great surprise, they’re juicy and sweet and go beautifully with the feta and red onion.

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I hope you give this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad a try, it’s really wonderful, and easy to customize. If you want another main dish salad, try Chef Salad Sunday Supper. Have a great day, Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Key Items in This Recipe

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Lemon Feta Dressing

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Dinner, Main Course, Side, Appetizer, Lunch Mediterranean/American
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 4-8
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: ~30 Minutes

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a rainbow of fresh vegetables, with beans and greens dressed in a light lemon feta dressing.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 can Beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
  • Lemon Feta Dressing
  • 1/3 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • Vegetables
  • Greens such as baby spinach and kale
  • Multi-color Bell Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Red Grapes
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Finishing Touches
  • Flaky Finishing Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Feta

Instructions

1

Rinse and drain 3/4 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and add it to a small saucepan, along with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed.

2

Spread the cooked quinoa out on a sheet tray to let it cool. Set the quinoa aside.

Lemon Feta Dressing

3

In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Salad

4

Add 1 can of drained and rinsed beans to the quinoa. Pour about half of the lemon feta dressing over the quinoa and beans, stir to mix the dressing in.

5

Spread the greens out as the first layer of the salad. Then top the greens with the dressed quinoa and bean mixture.

6

For the rest of the veggies, we will just scatter them evenly over one another to layer up a rainbow of color and texture.

7

Pour the remaining dressing over the layered salad and top with more olive oil, flaky finishing salt, black pepper and extra feta.

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  • Mari
    May 23, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Another colorful, wonderful salad to add to my repertoire. It looks so good with those bright bursts of color peeking out. Oranges especially look so delectable this time of year. I am happy to see quinoa having its time to shine. For years this wonderful, nutritious, delicious grain was overlooked. I heard about it maybe thirty or more years ago when I was in a natural food buying club. Back then, the packages all told us how to pronounce it, because most of us had no idea. Now we do. I see a lot of men buying it. Maybe most of them are doing the shopping for their family, but I like to think some of them buy it because they like it. It’s a nice change from rice and barley, but I’m the only one in my family that likes it. Maybe this salad will change some minds. Fingers crossed. Marvelous, Merry, Mischievous Monday to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the canine cut ups. We are back to rainy days and nights. The flowers and the grass love it and the outside birds don’t seem to mind. Our birds curled up with us and we read books. They were remarkably quiet! 🌧☔️🦜😊.

    • Kelly Djalali
      May 23, 2022 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Mari, I do think this quinoa salad can be a mind-changer! it’s so good with the feta lemon dressing. We finally got some rain, so our backyard brid families and the plants are all enjoying the day! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    May 23, 2022 at 8:45 am

    I know those are tomatoes, but my brain keeps seeing them as oranges. I must be telling myself to add some to the grocery list! I will add tomatoes too! 😂

  • Ann
    May 23, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Yummy!!! That looks and sounds amazing!

    • Kelly Djalali
      May 23, 2022 at 6:28 pm

      It’s so good Ann, and it keeps well in the fridge overnight for leftovers! xo Kelly

  • Holly
    May 23, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Kelly, What a timely post for me. I need a hearty side tonight to supplement the hamburgers and we love your salads. Presenting it on a platter instead of a bowl makes it extra special. Thanks!

    • Kelly Djalali
      May 23, 2022 at 6:28 pm

      Perfect, Holly! Let me know how it goes, I am sure it will be hit alongside those burgers! xo Kelly

      • Sally
        May 24, 2022 at 2:39 am

        Hi Kelly, the first time I cooked Quinoa it was very bitter, apparently I didn’t prepare it properly, so it took me some time before I would even try it again. It is lovely in a salad, but I have to admit I am a bit lazy and buy it in a packet which also has brown rice in it which you can then microwave. The reason being it is not a favourite of my husbands’ so it would be silly of me to buy a whole packet. The salad looks beautiful and with that yummy Lemon Feta dressing, it will certainly be added to my Kelly Djalali file. Happy cooking 🧑‍🍳
        Sally 🤗

        • Kelly Djalali
          May 24, 2022 at 7:28 am

          Hi Sally, certainly you can swap out the quinoa for a grain you both enjoy, like rice. I do thin you will enjoy this salad no matter what grain you add to the mix. Thanks, Sally! It’s always so nice to hear from you! xo Kelly

  • Lynn Cass
    May 23, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    What a beautiful salad. I can’t wait to try it. I like any Mediterranean recipes, so please post more. Thanks so much.

    • Kelly Djalali
      May 24, 2022 at 7:19 am

      Thanks so much, Lynn! xo Kelly

  • HOLLY
    May 23, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    Kelly, this salad was so delicious. I added cilantro from our garden and used cherries instead of grapes. Next time I’ll double the dressing and pass the extra for people who want more. The feta and lemon were so good. We’ll definitely make this again!

    • Kelly Djalali
      May 24, 2022 at 7:20 am

      Sounds great Holly, I love swapping in the cherries! xo Kelly