Today, I’d like to share a recipe with you all!

Shabbos was starting soon, and I had promised my aunt that I would make a side dish, to contribute to my family’s potluck Shabbos dinner.  I flipped through my cookbook, and a couple of my mother’s, but I didn’t find that perfect recipe, that fulfilled all of my requirements:  It had to be something I could prepare quickly, something that I already had the necessary ingredients on hand for, and a paerve side dish.

Believe it or not, I didn’t find a recipe like that.  Tough luck. ;)

However, I do like making up my own recipes, so I resorted to my imagination.  I suddenly remembered the package of quinoa in our pantry cabinet, and recalled how I had been wanting to taste it.  I also really like Mediterranean flavors.. so I went on a little treasure hunt around the kitchen, and had some fun.  The result was a tasty, nutritious salad, comprised of grain, combined with warm Mediterranen flavors, and rich bits of  caramelized veggies .

I’m guilty of not writing down my recipe’s measurements, so these instructions are going to be a little funny, but I hope you enjoy making this dish.  Feel free to resort to your own imagination, to mix and match new flavors, or substitute some of the ingredients I have listed.

Tzipporah’s ‘Mediterranean’ Quinoa Salad

(This recipe is paerve.)

Ingredients I used:

~Quinoa; ~Water as needed; ~Olive oil; ~Minced garlic; ~A few stalks of celery; ~Small onion; ~Craisins; ~Honey; ~Lemon juice; ~Salt and pepper, freshly ground; ~Mediterranean herbs and spices (I used parsley and mint, but if you’re daring, you could even add a pinch of za’atar, but don’t add so much that it will overpower the lemon or honey.)

To begin…

1.)  Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, and make sure it absorbs all the water.  After it’s cooked, stir and fluff the grain with a fork, and transfer it to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

2.)  In a frying pan, give a generous drizzle of olive oil, coating the pan’s surface.  While the oil heats (keeping an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn– olive oil has a low smoke point), mince a small yellow onion, and a few stalks of celery.  Toss into oil, add the garlic, and cook combination until sizzling and translucent.  Shake in a small handful of craisins, or other pieces of dried fruit, if you wish, and mix.

3.) In a smaller bowl, whisk together your honey and lemon juice, equal parts, with a little more olive oil, if you need the combination thinner.  Toss in your herbs, salt, and pepper.  Whisk dressing well.

4.)  Fold your caramelized vegetables into your quinoa, and pour in your dressing.  Toss, and dish up in a pretty serving bowl, after garnishing with walnuts and more chopped parsley, as pictured.   Serve at room temperature, or cold.

Please feel free to share in the comments any substitutes or changes you made to the recipe, I’d love to hear!

Bon appetit!!!