The longing for summer is never greater than during the final weeks of the semester. The sun is shining, you’ve packed away your heavy sweaters, and the only thing that stands between you and the beach are a few extremely long nights in the library and one too many cups of coffee.
Before long, my friends, our day planners will be released from the death grip of final deadlines, and our days will be free to celebrate the season with friends and family.
If you’re not jetting off to the Greek Isles for summer vacation, fear not, you can bring the spirit of the Mediterranean to your upcoming outdoor soiree with this light and refreshing salad.
Kelsey Brown writes about healthy hearts, minds and bodies for Small Kitchen College and Happyolks. She’s ready to toss her planner after finals and spend a lazy afternoon at the ballpark with her boyfriend.
Kelsey’s Easy-As-Pie Mediterranean Salad
1 cup dry quinoa (makes 2 cups cooked)
½ cup olive oil, plus a splash more for cooking the quinoa
1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, halved
1 head of romaine or red leaf lettuce, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Let’s get the quinoa going first. In a small pot, combine 2 cups of water, the quinoa, and a splash of olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the grain has germinated. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, artichokes, cucumber, parsley, basil, olives, and lettuce and gently toss together to mix. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil and pour evenly over the salad greens. Stir in the quinoa, feta cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper. Enjoy!