September 03, 2017


Posted in Grains, quinoa, salads, side dish

Summer Quinoa Salad

Love, love, love this gorgeous salad for its textures, colors and balance of flavors.  The silky/crunchy texture of quinoa, the mellow roasted broccoli florets and summer squash, crunch of red onion and tang of feta.  Like so many of our dishes, it can be made a day ahead and enjoyed as a side dish or a main attraction.

Any quinoa will do.  We like the tri-color just for the fun of it.


The recipe we put together includes summer squash, broccoli, red onion and corn but you can use the vegetables you like best (or have on hand).  Peppers, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, the choices are endless.  Keep it to three or four and throw in some black beans too, if you like.  Our recipe is more of a loose guide than something written in stone.  


Our recipe:

1 1/2 cups Quinoa (cooked for 20-25 minutes (drain and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and let cool)

Florets from 3-4 stalks of broccoli

1 large or two small zucchini,  cubed

1 red onion, diced

Kernels from two ears of corn (or the equivalent of frozen corn, about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup crumbled feta (or to taste)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup lemon juice, white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

2/3 cup oilladi extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon oilladi thyme honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh or dried herbs (oregano, thyme or basil work beautifully with this salad)

Use the herb of your choice, as noted above.  Here we used Greek basil (aka bush basil). The leaves are small and delicate and have a subtle aroma and flavor.  

Cook the vegetables until slightly softened (boil the corn and either sautee or roast the broccoli and zucchini).  Leave the red onion raw.

Combine the vegetables and let cool to room temperature.

Pour the lemon juice or vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to taste in a glass jar and cover tightly.  Shake vigorously to emulsify.  (Alternatively, you can simply whisk the ingredients in a mixing bowl.)



Combine quinoa, veggies and dressing and crumbled feta. Enjoy!



Tourlou - The Greek Ratatouille

Ratatouille in French, Tourlou in Greek or Briam in Turkish.  It's a classic, versatile dish that works beautifully as a side dish to a meat or chicken main but can stand alone as the main attraction.  Just add good, crusty bread, feta and olives on the side and you're good to go.

Start with onions, garlic and tomatoes and add the veggies of your choice.  The traditional recipe calls for eggplant and zucchini but green beans, artichoke, okra can all be added in or used as a substitute.  

Fresh, ripe tomatoes are best but if they're not available, chopped canned tomatoes (without herbs or salt) do a fine job as stand-ins.






1/4 cup (plus more for drizzling) Extra virgin olive oil

5-6 ripe or 28 oz of canned tomatoes

2 - 3 medium onions

5 cloves of garlic

2 medium eggplant

3 - 4 medium zucchini

fresh basil leaves


Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Cut the eggplant and zucchini into large cubes or thick strips.  In a large casserole, toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven.  Stir occasionally until just cooked through (15 to 20 minutes, on average).

While the eggplant and zucchini roast, rough chop your tomatoes (if using fresh), rough chop the garlic and thickly slice the onion.

In a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, saute the onion 5 - 7 minutes, add garlic and continue sauteing for another minute then add the tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.

Lower oven heat to 350 degrees, combine tomato mixture with the vegetables in the casserole and return to the oven for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Serve as a side dish to chicken or meat or as a main course with crusty bread and feta.