Quinoa Greek Salad

We’re being teased in Seattle now…..it happens every year in Feb and I always fall for it. We get a few days of sun and the thermometer creeps up toward 50 F (10 C) and the crocuses are poking up and you allow yourself to think “…mmmmm, feels like spring!” and everyone is a little perkier and smiling more… and then… WHAM, you’re right back in blustery, grey, chilly, rainy Seattle winter. PSYCH! I fell for it again. (I’m sure my snow-covered friends in Eastern Canada have absolutely no sympathy for me). So today, being one of those Winnie-the-Pooh days but with my brain pining for warm, sunny breezes, I couldn’t get into typical winter food so I made one of my all-time favourite summer salads.

This is a great use for leftover quinoa. I didn’t have any leftover, but I really wanted the salad so I made a fresh batch but let it cool in the fridge a bit while I chopped the rest of the salad.

And alright…I get that I should not be complaining about the weather here. I realize how blessed I am when I can take oregano out of my own garden right now…I had to search around for some tender new growth since the older stuff is looking pretty ratty, but it was there!

I didn’t measure the veggies for this salad and you really don’t need to either. If you like lots of cuke add lots…only like a bit of olive, only add a bit. You could make this heartier by adding a can of drained, rinsed chick peas or adzuki beans and it’s a dinner on its own. Or serve it as a side dish with grilled lamb chops (ooo, that really sounds like summer!). Had this been dinner for 3 in our house, Bob and I would eat the salad as-is of course, and serve Evan a small “just-take-one-bite” amount, plus the quinoa plain and warm, with sliced cuke and cubed feta on the side, along side some grilled meat (me and Ev) or fish (Bob and Ev).

But since it was just me, for lunch, I had it with some awesome olive bread from Essential Baking Company. I realize that’s kind of redundant, having bread with a grain, but whatever…it was soooooo good!!

Quinoa Greek Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa (about 3 cups cooked)
cucumber, seeded and diced
tomatoes, seeded and diced
kalmata olives, pitted and sliced in half
crumbled feta cheese
~1/2 cup mild sweet onion
~1-2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1-2 tsp dried
olive oil
red wine vinegar (you can make more or less dressing depending on how wet or dry you like your salad. I usually keep my oil:vinegar at 1:1)

Cook quinoa according to package directions, or use leftover quinoa.  If making fresh, put cooked quinoa in salad bowl, spread out a bit and pop in the fridge while you chop the rest of the salad. If using leftovers, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp while prepping the rest. Combine cuke, tomato, olives, onion and feta with quinoa and toss.  In a small measuring cup whisk together about 1/8 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup vinegar along with chopped oregano and a good grind of pepper. Pour over quinoa salad and serve at room temp.

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