Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad

I fell in love with Middle Eastern flavours while living in Dubai. The cuisine is full of sharing dishes that bring people together.  This bright, vibrant Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad is always a hit with family and friends.

Cooking time 30 minutes,  serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • Quinoa of choice (I used multigrain)
  • Veggies of choice (I used baby corn and asparagus) with:
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp soya sauce
    • 1 tbsp vinegar/lemon juice
    • 2tsp honey
    • 1 tsp crushed chillies
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic
  • Zaatar dressing with:
    • 1 tbsp zaatar (add more if you like the taste, will thicken the dressing too)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup green olive brine
    • 1 tsp honey/maple syrup/coconut sugar/xylitol (add more if you prefer sweeter)
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic
  • Sliced green olives
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds or sultanas (both will add sweet bursts of flavour)

Method

  1. Cook your quinoa as per packaging instructions, fluff with a fork while it cools to avoid clumping (TIP: for a more crunchy texture, crisp your quinoa on a lined baking tray in a warm-to-hot oven).
  2. Sauté your chosen veggies in a heated pan with all ingredients mentioned.
  3. Mix the zaatar dressing ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Put the quinoa in a serving bowl.
  5. Fold the olives and pomegranate seeds into the quinoa, adding most of the dressing as you go.
  6. Layer the veggies on top.
  7. Drizzle the rest of the dressing on top.

Serve this dish with some falafel, hummus and pita for the full Middle Eastern experience.

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