I've made this salad several times this summer, serving it as a side dish to grilled meats. This time, when I had grilled, marinated chicken breasts in the refrigerator, they were also added to the mix. Serve with some good bread and you've got dinner!
• 1 cup quinoa
• Olive oil
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• freshly ground pepper
• 1 clove of garlic minced and mashed with 1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• One 5-ounce bag baby spinach, torn into pieces or julienned
• 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
• 1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
• 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
• 1/4 cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives, chopped
• One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 cups cubed chicken (either roasted, grilled, or poached)
• 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1. Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water. Drain well. Over medium heat, drizzle a little olive oil in a saucepan; add the quinoa and sauté for a minute. Add the 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Combine the minced garlic and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream. Add a pinch of pepper and adjust the salt.
3. When the quinoa has cooled somewhat, stir in the vinaigrette. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.
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