Since our annual fruit run on the Fresno Fruit Trail, I’ve been super excited about fresh produce. I dream of summer fruits + veggies all year round, but I seem to forget how wonderful the fresh produce really is. In my first year of grad school, a friend made his Israeli salad with cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro. I’m a sucker for each of those ingredients, especially the cilantro. I immediately fell in love with it (along with the rest of our friends) and made the salad countless times over the next two years. And then I don’t know what happened (I’ll blame grad school because I still can), but I stopped making it. Heading to a potluck BBQ for a friend’s birthday this past weekend, I decided to resurrect this delicious Mediterranean salad recipe and add some quinoa for protein.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is the perfect summery dish because the flavors are so bright and light, but it’s also really filling. It was a hit at the BBQ and we had it as a side with dinner last night. I have every intention of making this for a lunch too. The recipe below is for a salad big enough to share, but you can always make a single serving.
Hot House Cucumbers vs. English Cucumbers
I never really understood the difference between the two main kinds of cucumbers. Now that I do, however, it’s no competition. The skin on hot house cucumbers is a lot thicker, a lot chewier, and a lot more work. I also think they don’t have as much flavor. English cucumbers, however, have a thin, delicious skin that you will happily eat. They come in long versions (about 12″), but they also come in mini sizes. Persian cucumbers are also a small, delicious cucumber option.
MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD
A friend in grad school introduced me to the simple salad recipe (sans quinoa) and I think they will forever be a summer go-to for potlucks and bbqs. I love the added quinoa for protein, but you make it with or without!
- 1 Cup chopped red onion
- 1 1/2 Cucumbers diced (approx. 4 Cups)
- 2 red bell peppers approx. 2-3 Cups
- 1 Cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 Cups cooked quinoa recipe here
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/4 Cup fresh lime juice approx. 1 1/2 limes
- Mix everything together.
- For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Taste and season with salt & pepper if more is needed.
Make this recipe? I'd love to see how it turned out. Tag me @LMinthekitchen on Instagram and use #LMrecipes, so I can see your creation! xo