Saturday, June 7, 2014

Perfect Potluck... Greek Quinoa Salad

My kids' end-of-year school concert last night. I committed to contributing a salad for the post concert eats and there was no doubt in my mind, this was the perfect crowd-pleaser salad to make with it's healthful ingredients and tasty flavours! A large fresh bed of both romaine and mixed greens topped with textured nutty grains of quinoa and a medley of crunchy colourful vegetables dressed with garlicky lemony dill.  And I was right, it was cleaned out! I reduced the recipe to make for a reasonable serving.

Photo update from my sons` birthday picnic!
Greek Dill Quinoa Salad
Makes 8 servings

3 cups hot, low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1-1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt, more to taste
ground pepper to taste 
6 cups mixed salad greens 
3 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces or omit salad greens and use 9 cups romaine
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small English cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
1/2 cup whole pitted kalamata or black olives
sprigs of fresh dill for garnish

Heat the broth in a large saucepan placed over high heat. When it has just come to the boil, add the quinoa and stir well. Allow to return to the boil, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. When cooked, transfer mixture to a large, shallow bowl to cool. Combine the dill, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to blend well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Layer the mixed greens then romaine lettuce on a serving platter. Drizzle with half the dressing.

Place all the vegetables in a large bowl; toss with the quinoa and remaining vinaigrette. Layer on top of the greens. Garnish with fresh dill and serve. TIP: If desired, crumble feta cheese over top. Presentation Suggestions: Eliminate the greens completely if desired. Or present the salad in layers. The greens on the bottom, layered with just quinoa, then topped with the dressed mixture of vegetables. It looks stunning this way too!


Quinoa is protein-rich and a highly regarded superfood! It takes on surrounding flavours very well and a smart healthy replacement to carbs in your meals. For alternative quinoa salads, try a sweet version: Simple Cranberry Quinoa Salad or savoury with Mexican flavours: Black Bean Quinoa Salad

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