Summer is (almost) here and I am beginning to crave cool, refreshing flavors in effort to beat the heat. Here is an effortless salad that is not only nutritious but jam packed with flavor. This would make the perfect side dish to bring to a pot luck or serve at your next Summer BBQ.
This dish is produce heavy….cucumbers, tomatoes, and super food swiss chard just to name a few! The fresh herbs (especially the mint) brighten and compliment the other flavors perfectly. I happened to have gluten free orzo in my pantry to try out so I used that for my pilaf. You can easily substitute quinoa (which is loaded with protein), couscous, or rice!
Last night I served this with Grilled Chicken Kabobs (recipe coming soon) and it was delicious! I found myself with a good amount leftover so I now have an easy lunch ready for the rest of the work week! I plan on adding a little shredded chicken for extra protein to make this a complete meal. If you don’t want a lot of leftovers, this recipe can easily be cut in half.
Mediterranean Pilaf Salad
Serves 8 – 10 people
- 4 cups of prepared gluten free Orzo, Quinoa, or Rice, cooled
- 1 cup of diced English Cucumber
- 2 cups of Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cups of Swiss Chard, chopped (spinach could also be substituted)
- 4 stalks of Green Onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup of Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 4 tablespoons of fresh Mint, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons of fresh flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped
For the Greek Dressing:
- 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- juice from half of a lemon
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 4 packed tablespoons of oregano
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1. In a food processor, combine ingredients listed for Greek Dressing and process until ingredients are emulsified. If you do not have a food processor, finely chop oregano and garlic and whisk together with the remaining ingredients until emulsified. Let the dressing sit for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine prepared grain of your choice, cucumber, tomato, swiss chard, green onion, feta, mint, parsley, and Greek dressing. Toss until ingredients are evenly combined. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving and enjoy!