Today, during my weekly shopping trip with the girls, I asked a routine question “Maddie, do you have everything you need for your lunches?”
“Well, Mom I want something different…I’m tired of ham in my lunch. Can you make me that stuff with the feta, zucchini and quinoa that you made the last time Grandma came to visit?”
Umm…absolutely I can!
Zucchini, quinoa, tomato, kale, spinach, feta…why would I NOT want her to eat this?!
Warm Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Zucchini….oh, how I adore thee. I love when I can make a salad of all of my favorite things and the result is this delicious. I mean, my 11 year old is asking me to make it so she can take it in her lunch (mic drop). I had been working on perfecting this salad when my mom can to visit and I used her as a recipe guinea pig…believe me, she doesn’t mind. My Mom sometimes comes to visit when the Cowboy goes to the ranch for the night and it gives me an opportunity to cook some things that are a little bit outside his comfort zone…like quinoa. My Mom and I have similar tastes so I knew this yummy salad was right up her alley.
One thing I love about this Quinoa Salad is the prep and cooking take no time at all. My mom sat at the kitchen table gabbing with the girls about their day. Once the aroma of sauteed garlic and onion hit the air, she was hooked and in no time flat dinner was served. When she first tasted it there was only a look…THE look…the “this is glorious” look. Her first comment was “this is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten” (mic drop).
Maddie, Mom and I devoured the whole pan…and we could have eaten more. It is perfect…healthy, light, comforting, satisfying and simple. This is my kind of dish…I could eat it everyday…forever.
Warm Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Zucchini has few ingredients but all play an important role. The veggies are lightly cooked, keeping much of their texture, the quinoa creates a hearty base that picks up all of the juices from the veggies and then there is the salty, creamy, feta and toasted pine nuts for crunch and Mediterranean flair…it doesn’t get better folks.
Cooking goes quick so make sure you have everything prepped and ready to go. Often, I prepare the ingredients a day in advance which makes this a 10 minute dish! We typically eat it as a meal…it’s so good I don’t want anything else…but it would be great as a side to chicken or fish and it is delish the next day at room temp…I have eaten it right out of the fridge on the rare occasion that there are leftovers.
Listen to me carefully…you will want leftovers!
Warm Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Zucchini
Warm Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Zucchini has few ingredients but all play an important role. The veggies are lightly cooked, keeping much of their texture, the quinoa creates a hearty base that picks up all of the juices from the veggies and then there is the salty, creamy, feta and toasted pine nuts for crunch…it doesn’t get better folks.
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 zucchini, quartered and diced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 medium purple onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1/8 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 3 cups baby spinach (or baby spinach & kale blend)
- Kosher salt & pepper
- Step 1 Combine quinoa with 1 cup of water and 1/4 of salt in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until water is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Step 2 Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and saute until translucent and they begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Step 3 Turn heat to medium high, add zucchini and 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper to taste. Cook until fork tender and soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another 3-4 minutes.
- Step 4 Remove from heat and stir in quinoa and parsley. Add the spinach mix and stir into quinoa mixture. The spinach will wilt down in the hot mixture. Stir in feta and taste for seasoning. Feta is salty to taste and see if you need to add more salt and pepper at this point.
- Step 5 Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!! This salad is also great room temperature, cold or warmed on a bed of greens.