The Greek style salad, a salad with juicy tomatoes and cucumbers, tangy red onions, and salty kalamata olives and feta in a lemon and oregano vinaigrette, has to be one of my favourites and it is so easy to turn it into a light and yet satisfying meal with the addition of quinoa (or a whole grain) along with some chickpeas! I always enjoy using quinoa in salads like this since it is such a nice source of protein, especially when combined with a bean, and it really makes for a salad that eats like a meal. I particularly enjoy this quinoa and chickpea salad because of all of the wonderful Mediterranean flavours where the juicy tomatoes and cucumbers play brilliantly with the salty olives and feta. Another wonderful thing about this salad is how versatile it is, I always have fun changing up the ingredients and some more that work well are roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and even cool and creamy avocados!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
A Mediterranean inspired quinoa salad with juicy tomatoes and cucumbers along with tangy red onions and salty kalamata olives and feta.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup tomato, sliced
- 1 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (~1 lemon) or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, and let sit covered for 5 minutes before letting it cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Mix the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, feta and chickpeas and toss in the mixture of the lemon juice, oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
Note: I like my quinoa to be al-dente and not mushy so I use a little less than the commonly called for 2 cups for 1 cup of quinoa; I use 1 1/2 cups of water when I rinse the quinoa and 1 3/4 cups when the quinoa is pre-rinsed.
Tip: Cook the quinoa a day ahead to save time.
Option: Add other Mediterranean inspired ingredients like roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts or even avocados.