I know you shouldn't mess with a good thing, but I'm breaking the rules and changing up the ingredients for this Greek salad recipe. It's a hearty salad that makes for a great lunch or a light dinner and pairs perfectly with hummus and grilled pita bread.
First, I wanted to make this salad a bit more filling by adding some cooked quinoa. Not only do these cooked seeds add texture to this salad, but they're also rich in protein and fiber.
Most Greek salads use romaine lettuce as a base, but I'm swapping it out for baby arugula: one of my favorite summer salad greens. Baby arugula can usually be spotted at the grocery store next to containers of baby spinach. It's a hearty baby green that lasts longer in your fridge and holds up well to salad dressings.
Since this Greek salad is dairy-free, I'm substituting the feta cheese for a cashew cheese. Look for a cashew cheese that has fresh herbs, lemon or garlic in it; any of these three flavor profiles will pair well with the salad.
Arugula Greek Salad with Quinoa
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
5 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled cashew cheese
4 cups baby arugula
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. In a small pot, bring water, quinoa and a pinch of salt to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer for 12 minutes.
2. Spread quinoa on a plate and refrigerate until cool, about 10 minutes.
3. Toss quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, cashew cheese, arugula, olive oil and red wine vinegar in a large bowl until everything is well coated. Season with a pinch of salt.
--Add some finely chopped fresh oregano or mint if you have it on hand. A little garlic would taste great too.
--If you want to make this salad really filling, add some cooked chickpeas or lentils.
--If your chef's knife is dull, use a serrated knife to slice the tomatoes in half.
--The quinoa in this recipe can be substituted for a cup of cooked couscous.
--To pit an olive, place the olive on the cutting board; using your thumb, press down on the olive to release the pit.
(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show "Best Recipes Ever." Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at www.karyosmond.com.)