Olives and Quinoa Salad

Yesterday I had one of those perfect Saturday mornings where I was productive but didn’t feel rushed or stressed. I was able to go to core barre, do my grocery shopping, make my lunch for the week (something I haven’t done lately because I’ve been so busy), and even take a nap!

For my lunches for the week, I tried out a Pinterest recipe I’d been eyeing called “Olive Cous Cous Salad.” But I don’t like cous cous so I subbed quinoa. I also added veggies to make it a more well-rounded meal. It turned out pretty well! The flavors were definitely better the second day after they got happy together in the fridge. I’ve made similar salads before with quinoa but the brine of the olives and the addition of mustard in the dressing made this one stand out.

Arlington Darling | Olive Quinoa Salad 1

Adapted from Kitchen Confidante.

Ingredients:Arlington Darling | Olive Quinoa Salad 2
1 cup quinoa
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp white vinegar
3 tbsp good-quality olive oil
2 small zucchini (or 1 large)
1 cup pitted black/kalamata olives
1 cup pitted green olives
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaved parsley, minced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese, to taste

To Make:
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Fluff and set aside.Arlington Darling | Olive Quinoa Salad 3
2. Mash the garlic and salt together to create a paste. Combine in a bowl with the lemon, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper.
3. Quarter and slice the zucchini. You could also dice it, whatever your preference. Add to the dressing.
4. Add the olives and parsley to the bowl.
5. Stir in the cooked quinoa.
6. Add parmesan if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Arlington Darling | Olive Quinoa Salad 4

Note: Make sure you buy pitted olives! I didn’t think about this and bought a mix from the olive bar at Whole Foods, and as I was putting them into the salad I had to painstakingly check each olive to ensure it didn’t have a pit.

Another note: The olives add a lot of salt to this dish, so taste before you add additional salt. I might not even salt the water for the quinoa next time.

Arlington Darling | Olive Quinoa Salad 5

Enjoy!

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