This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Olives, Basil and Sun-dried Tomatoes is perfect for a picnic, side dish or even a marvelous vegetarian entree! You’ll love this combination of Mediterranean flavors!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Could I make something without butter or sugar or flour? Those are my staples. The challenge was on. I love using quinoa as a substitute for other grains. A complete protein, quinoa packs more powerful nutritional benefits than ordinary white rice, barley, and pasta.
Impressed with how this Quinoa Risotto with White Beans and Roasted Brassica used quinoa to make a dreamy risotto, I decided to make a loaded Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. All I’d do is substitute orzo with quinoa in an old favorite pasta salad recipe!
A Twist on a Favorite Pasta Salad
I took a favorite picnic salad, Orzo with Everything, and tweaked it to make it gluten-free. I’d eaten a delightful quinoa salad at a recent luncheon and turned to this super-grain of the Andes as a substitution for the orzo. I found a certified gluten-free organic pearl quinoa at Whole Foods. Note that quinoa is naturally gluten-free, but is often cross-contaminated during processing. Make sure to check your label carefully.
Adding flavorful ingredients such as kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan and basil along with a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, gave a powerful flavor punch to this exotic grain. I added artichoke hearts to this batch and am dreaming of a version with bocconcini (mini fresh mozzarella balls). But no matter, it was sublime just the way I made it. Be sure to give quinoa, and this amazing Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, a shot.
More Quinoa Recipes You’ll Love:
- Slow Cooker Lentil and Quinoa Chili from Aggie’s Kitchen
- Caribbean Salmon Quinoa Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from Foodness Gracious
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Crockpot Chicken Veggie Quinoa Soup from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Used in This Recipe:
- Easy-Clean Garlic Press
- Henckels Kitchen Shears
- Wusthof Classic 6-inch Wave Knife
- OXO Non-Slip Cutting Board
- 1-1 1/2 cups quinoa (use a certified gluten-free brand)
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, optional, to cook quinoa
- 1/3 cup (packed) chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup artichoke heart quarters (marinated)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Cook quinoa in a pot of boiling salted water (or chicken stock) as directed on package (mine suggested twice as much liquid as quinoa). Drain well. Place in large bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and olives and toss to blend. Let stand until cool.
- Mix pine nuts, chopped basil, Parmesan, and garlic into orzo mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 8mg Sodium: 280mg Carbohydrates: 26g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 10g