With all the rich, indulgent treats of Christmastime (such as my latest snickerdoodle recipe), it can be refreshing to have something light and crisp on the menu. Today I’ll share a recipe is for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad that is filled with cucumber, avocado, feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds. The parsley and lemon add some extra zesty flavor and it’s all topped off with a ginger tahini dressing.
This recipe is free of any refined ingredients and is gluten-free, low FODMAP, and vegetarian. It can also be made vegan and Daniel Fast compliant by omitting the cheese. This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser while also accommodating a wide range of dietary needs.
Ingredients for a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Here is a list of everything you’ll need to make this delicious Mediterranean Quinoa Salad:
- Dry quinoa
- Apple cider vinegar
- English cucumber
- Italian parsley
- Organic Valley feta cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh ginger root
How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
The first step in making the salad is to soak the quinoa. This is optional, but I recommend it in order to increase nutrient bioavailability and digestibility. Rinse one and a half cups of dry quinoa and place it in a bowl with one and half cups of water. Stir in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and set aside for 6-8 hours. If time does not allow, skip this step and begin with the directions below.
Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer and transfer to a small or medium sized saucepan. Add three cups of water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa absorbs all the water. When it is ready, it should be soft and tender and the germ ring should be released from the quinoa. If the water absorbs before this happens, add a little extra water and continue cooking. It will make about five cups of quinoa in total.
When the quinoa is ready, transfer it to a large bowl. Then add a cup of diced English cucumber (unpeeled), three quarter cup of chopped Italian parsley, one diced avocado, the seeds of one pomegranate, and a half cup of feta cheese, freshly crumbled.
When selecting feta, try to buy a block such as Organic Valley‘s instead of pre-crumbled feta which contains anticaking agents such as cellulose and potato starch. The taste and texture is so much better when you crumble it freshly at home.
In a small bowl, whisk a quarter cup of olive oil with a quarter cup of lemon juice. Drizzle it over the salad and toss to combine all the ingredients. Add Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
Ginger Tahini Dressing
To give this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad a little extra dimension, I like to serve it with a ginger tahini dressing. However, if you have a sesame allergy, you can drizzle it with balsamic vinegar and extra olive oil instead.
In a small bowl, whisk two tablespoons of lemon juice with a quarter cup of tahini. (I use Trader Joe’s which contains no added ingredients.) Mix in a tablespoon of peeled, minced ginger root. Gradually add water while stirring until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.
How to Serve Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
One of the best parts about this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is how many ways it can be served. Eat it while the quinoa is still warm or have it chilled as leftovers. It’s a great salad to pack for work too. If you have it as a main course, try adding some chickpeas for an extra boost of protein.
Another great option is to serve it alongside your favorite Greek dish such as falafel or gyros. You can find my favorite recipes for falafel, pita bread, and tzatziki here for a full Mediterranean meal!
I hope you enjoy this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad! Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to see photos of your creations as well, so be sure to tag me on Instagram at @root_and_rosemary.
More Salads to Try
- Gluten-Free Italian Pasta Salad
- Tangy Vegan Potato Salad
- Blueberry Kale Couscous Salad
- Avocado Feta Chickpea Salad
- Curried Squash & Couscous Salad
- Vegan Sweet-Potato Quinoa Salad
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Ginger Tahini Dressing
- 1½ cups quinoa (uncooked)
- 4½ cups water (divided)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup English cucumber (diced)
- ¾ cup Italian parsley (chopped)
- 1 avocado (diced)
- 1 pomegranate
- ½ cup feta cheese (freshly crumbled)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini (unsalted)
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (finely minced)
- *Optional* Rinse the quinoa and place in a medium bowl. Add 1 ½ cups water and the apple cider vinegar. Stir and cover with a dish towel for 6-8 hours.
- Drain quinoa and rinse again. Transfer to a small/medium pot with 3 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring periodically. When it is done, all the water should be absorbed and the germ ring should be released from the quinoa.
- Remove from heat and transfer quinoa to a large bowl.
- Add the cucumber, parsley, pomegranate seeds, avocado, and feta.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice. Then pour it on the salad and toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Ginger Tahini Dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with the remaining lemon juice.
- Stir in the minced ginger.
- Gradually add water while whisking until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.