Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Salad
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Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Salad

This quick and easy side dish pairs the bold Mediterranean flavors of lime, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and fresh parsley against the subtle yet earthy backdrop of quinoa. With natural salty flavors, this dish pops with balance.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Heather from WholeFoodStudio.com

Ingredients

  • 1 c. quinoa preferably dry roasted first
  • 2 limes zest, and juice
  • 4 oz. Feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 oz. Kalamata olives pitted and chopped (if you don’t have scales, that’s between 10 – 11 large olives)
  • 1 T. olive brine more or less, according to your taste
  • ¼ c. fresh parsley stems removed and chopped (Reserve the stems for your next stock or compost)
  • Optional: Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat dry quinoa in a frying pan until fragrant and golden brown.
  • Cook quinoa according to package directions. (Mine said: bring 2 cups water to a boil, add 1 c quinoa and reduce heat to LOW.
  • Simmer with lid ON for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.)
  • Fluff quinoa with a fork and allow the grains to cool.
  • Stir in lime zest, lime juice, Feta cheese, chopped olives, brine, and fresh parsley until thoroughly combined.
  • Season with black pepper, to taste.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Top off with an extra chopped olive or two and a quick zest of lime just before serving.
  • Cover and store any leftovers in the fridge.

Notes

For best results, you’ll want to make this dish in advance and give the flavors a chance to blend.
Quinoa: Dry roasting quinoa before cooking in water brings out more of the earthy flavors. Add grains to a medium sized frypan and gently shake over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant.Cook quinoa according to the directions on the package.
Olive brine: If you prefer milder salads, leave out the brine and taste before adding any.
Feta cheese: If you find the sheep milk in Feta cheese too strong, look for one made with a blend such as goat or cow milk.
It will crumble into much smaller pieces, but you should enjoy the flavor more.