Revithosalata - Quinoa-Chickpea Salad
Chickpeas are one of the oldest foods continuously eaten throughout the Aegean islands, and this Greek recipe for chickpea salad, inspired by the traditional foods of Paros, has a decidedly modern twist with the addition of a new ancient grain, quinoa. Quinoa isn’t native to Greece, of course, but with ancient chick peas and a healthy dose of extra virgin Greek olive oil and lots of veggies and herbs, this salad is a winner.
- ½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin Greek
- olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 or 4 fresh oregano sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup (170 g) dried quinoa, rinsed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 small fennel bulb diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 15 cherry or teardrop tomatoes halved
- 1½ cups (240 g) cooked chickpeas (good-quality canned are fine)
- ½ cup (25 g) any chopped fresh herbs of your choice (basil, mint, oregano, parsley, cilantro, dill, fennel fronds)
- ½ cup pitted chopped kalamata or wrinkled black olives
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup diced feta optional
- Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by 1 ½ - 2 inches. Bring to a gentle boil, salt the water lightly, and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, until tender and popped. Drain any excess liquid.
- While the quinoa is cooking, in a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft.
- Combine the quinoa, onion-fennel mixture, tomatoes, chickpeas, OLIVES, and herbs in a bowl. Gently stir in the feta, if using.
- Season with the lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together the remaining olive oil and vinegar, add to the salad and serve.
You can add 2 cups (500 ml) of any cooked seafood of your choice, such as calamari, shelled mussels, or shrimp, or any combination thereof.