Right. Let me get this out of the way now. This post is going to be short and sweet. Actually short and savory. My water heater has been broken since the wee hours of Saturday morning and I’m afraid that if I stay in one place too long (to type a wordy post, par example) that I might smell myself. And after five days of no shower, let me assure you it’s an idea that strikes fear deep in my pea-picking little heart.
This Greek Quinoa Salad was a natch to serve with the Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast I served last night. *recipe forthcoming when I am less in danger of succumbing to my own stink. Sorry if that’s in TMI territory. It’s light, it’s delicious, and it’s calculated to fill you up without weighing you down. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Quinoa equals power food and gives you more nutritional bang for your buck than pasta or rice. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record about the quinoa but it’s wonderful in so many ways. I wish the quinoa people, whoever they are, would sponsor me so I can buy a back-up water heater.
What else is fabulous about this recipe? It is great hot, warm or cold. It uses both pickled and fresh garlic. It uses frozen spinach (*sidebar. Speaking of getting nutritional bang for your buck you’d do much worse than stocking your freezer with frozen spinach. You can boost the nutrition content of many savory dishes by throwing in a handful or two of this frozen green gold. Plus you don’t have to wash the pesky fresh spinach and chop the harsh stems from it… And there’s more, but again, I don’t want to smell me.) And it makes ample use of Feta cheese. What’s not to love? So go make some of this. Pronto.
I bit the top off of my pretty little quinoa tower five seconds after shutting off my camera.
Greek Quinoa Salad
The quantities given below are for a half batch of what I make. I tell you this stuff is great leftover and cold, but I also know that not everyone is feeding 7 souls at a meal. Feel free to double this back up.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed several times in clean water to remove bitter coating
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 of a 1 lb package of frozen, chopped spinach. Do not thaw!
- 2-3 ounces, to taste, Feta cheese, cut into 1/4″ cubes or crumbled
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, fine diced
- 2 cloves pickled garlic, sliced thin
- 1 clove raw garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
Add the quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a medium saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Add cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch… In a medium bowl (or in a mason jar with a tight fitting screw-top lid) whisk (or shake) together vinegar, lemon juice, salt, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add olive oil and whisk again (or shake) until the vinaigrette is emulsified. In other words, until you can’t see separate layers of oil and vinegar. Everything should look almost creamy…
By now, your quinoa should be about done. Add the spinach, onion, and both garlics to the quinoa and toss with a fork. A long fork. Or use a short fork and an oven mitt. This stuff is steamy hot right now! The spinach will help cool the quinoa down somewhat. Add the vinaigrette to the quinoa, spinach and garlic and toss until evenly coated. Carefully stir in the feta cubes and serve immediately or chill and serve cold. YUM!