Friday, April 24, 2009

Mediterranean Salad Bowl

I enjoy things that are arranged in little piles - antipasto platters, fajita fixings, fondue dippers. I don't know, it's just something about the little groups of colors and foods that make you notice them more. I guess it's kinda like putting a bunch of "ugly" flowers (aka carnations) together in a group and suddenly you're like hmmm those are really pretty.

This "salad bowl" can be served as it is here - for one neatly organized in a small bowl, or tossed together like a traditional salad, or arranged on a large plate similarily to an antipasto. This would be especially good served as an appitizer, on a huge platter, at a summer party with tons pita bread and red wine.

This salad plays with traditional mediterranean flavors - olives, parsley, lemon & tahini, red onion, beans & grains. It's just a little different (as compared to the traditional Greek Salad with chickpeas etc. which is often oily and contains tomatoes from 1973).

Mediterranean Salad Bowl:
*These measurements are for one serving as I made this for my lunch yesterday but just double, triple, quadtruple....
1/2 cup dry quinoa, prepared per package instructions (any grain would work well)
Palm-ful diced red onion
Palm-ful cubed english cucumber
Palm-ful kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Palm-ful parsley, chopped
1/2 can white canelli beans
olive oil
salt & pepper

Juice 1 lemon
2 heaping tablespoons tahini paste (stirred up)
2 heaping tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic glove, grated or finely minced
salt & pepper

First, make the quinoa per the package instructions (or grab any leftover couscous, rice, etc.)

Second, heat a small skillet and add a dash of olive oil. Throw in the rinsed white beans some salt & pepper and just let the beans sit and get crispy.

While the beans & quinoa cook chop all the "piles."
Make the dressing by simply whisking everything together. If it is too thick (should be the consistency of mustard) thin it out with some water.

Once the beans & quinoa are done toss the quinoa with some of the dressing (enough to coat) and toss the beas with more dressing (again enough to coat). You should have a little dressing left over to spoon over top.

Finally, arrange the bowl or platter with all the piles and drizzle everything with any extra dressing (also could squirt on lemon juice or drizzle with olive oil).

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