Saturday, June 30, 2012

My dinner "oops"...... also known as Greek-inspired quinoa salad

I kind of accidentally screwed up my planned dinner side dish last night.   I had planned on making this  Feta and Watermelon Quinoa Salad that a friend had sent me the link to.....but then I accidentally left one of the needed ingredients off of my grocery shopping list and didn't realize it until about, oh, 2 minutes before dinner was needing to be ready.

What's a girl to do?

Well....once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.  What do I do when I don't have everything for a recipe?   I make one up, instead.   Sometimes it works (Yay!) it doesn't (Boo!).

Last night's worked!  I give you my new favourite summer salad....  

Greek-inspired Quinoa Salad


1 cup uncooked quinoa
1.5 cups water
about 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup grape tomatoes (I used yellow, because that's what I had on hand.  Feel free to use regular red ones instead!)
2 tablespoons capers
1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles


about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I eyeballed this, so feel free to add more or less)
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of one lemon (about 2 tbsp in my case, but 3 tbsp would be fine, too)
1/4 cup finely chopped minted parsley

In a medium sized saucepan, toast the quinoa for a few minutes.  Add water, all at once, and then lower to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer for about 12 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat, and fluff with a fork.  I put it directly into a bowl that I had pulled out for the salad, so it could cool more slowly.

While the quinoa is cooling, dice your tomatoes.    Throw them into the quinoa.  Add the capers.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.   Once the quinoa mixture is cool, add the feta cheese, and toss the entire thing with the dressing.

Guess what?

You're done.  That's it.   I served it at room temp (remember, I was kind of scrambling for a side dish at this point!), but I stuck the leftovers into the fridge after dinner last night.   I can tell you, from personal experience, it tastes as delicious cold and out of the fridge as it did freshly made last night.*  What does this mean?   Well, my blog-o-sphere means that this is a super simple side dish that can be taken to any Fourth of July party/cookout that you attend!   

You're welcome.

*(Yes, I did just devour the leftovers as a mid-afternoon snack.   Quinoa is good for you.  I don't feel guilty in any way.....)

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