This hearty vegetarian salad can double as a main dish. It gets a tzaziki vibe from cucumbers and dill combined with crunchy radish, kicky lemon garlic vinaigrette, fresh mint and feta. Easy and nourishing.
1 ½cups(350 ml) filtered water (plus more as needed)
fine sea or kosher salt as needed
2large garlic cloves, peeled and put through a press or minced
¼cup(60 ml) flavorful olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3tablespoons(45 ml) fresh, strained lemon juice
1tablespoon(15 ml) champagne or white wine vinegar
¼teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1small bunch radishes
1/4cupchopped mint leaves (more to taste)
1/4cupchopped dill (more to taste)
4ounces(110 g) feta (I like French sheep feta), sliced or crumbled (or vegan feta such as Violife brand)
Place the quinoa in a very fine mesh strainer and place the strainer in a bowl. Fill the bowl with enough cool water to cover the quinoa and soak for 5-10 minutes, swishing the quinoa occasionally with your fingers. Rinse until the water runs clear and drain well.
Place the rinsed quinoa in a large saucepan with the 1 ½ cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the quinoa to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender with a hint of bite, about 15 minutes. If the quinoa isn’t yet cooked by the time the water is absorbed, sprinkle with a splash of water and continue cooking.
Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff gently with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, or cover and chill for up to 3 days.
In a small measuring pitcher, whisk together the pressed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Taste, adding more salt if you feel the dressing needs it. Set aside.
If your cucumbers are wider than an inch or so across, cut them in half lengthwise. Slice the cucumbers into 1/8″ thick rounds or half moons and add to the quinoa. Trim the radishes and slice them thinly. Add to the quinoa.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Toss in the mint and dill and taste, adding more lemon, vinegar, salt, or pepper if you feel the salad needs it. The flavors will become more subtle as the salad sits. Scatter the feta over the top.
Serve the salad topped with an extra drizzle of super flavorful olive oil and a big pinch of flaky salt. It’s best eaten within an hour or two, while the mint is fresh and green, but leftovers can be refrigerated for 1 or 2 days. As the salad sits, the quinoa will absorb flavor and moisture, so you’ll want to taste it again before serving, adding more of the vinaigrette components to boost the flavors if needed.