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I have a weakness for a good Greek salad – that trademark brininess, the unapologetic saltiness, the borderline aggressiveness of the raw red onion, the refreshing crunch of cucumber – all held up by firm, crisp romaine and drizzled with an assertive vinaigrette. Greek salad, you rock.

IMG_0178Greek salad inspired quinoa is also great… but I found myself missing the foundation of that fresh romaine lettuce. To solve this problem, I decided to serve the Greek quinoa salad in romaine lettuce cups, like a lettuce wrap. I sprinkled on the feta cheese right at the end. This makes a fabulous lunch or light meatless dinner in warm-weather months. These would also make a great side dish served alongside something off the grill. This recipe is easily doubled to serve a crowd.

Quinoa Greek Salad Lettuce Wraps

Greek quinoa salad served in crisp lettuce cups. Great served as a lunch entree, meatless meal, or appetizer/side alongside something off the grill. Quinoa salad adapted from [Bobby Flay|http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/greek-quinoa-salad-recipe.html].

Yields: Serves 4 (plan on 2 cups per person or more)

  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • For the Quinoa:
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 pepperoncini pepper, stem removed and finely chopped (optional)
  • crumbled feta cheese, for sprinkling on top
  • romaine lettuce hearts, leaves separated to make long, narrow lettuce cups

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

To a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup of water, and salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the quinoa for12-15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, remove the the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork, allowing the quinoa to cool.

In the meantime, add to a mixing bowl the tomatoes, olives, red onion, cucumber, and pepper (if using). Fold in the cooled quinoa. Drizzle with the prepared vinaigrette and toss to combine. Refrigerate the salad for at least one hour before serving.

To assemble the lettuce wraps: just prior to serving, place the romaine lettuce cups onto a work surface. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop the Greek quinoa salad into the cups. Sprinkle each lettuce wrap with a generous amount of feta cheese. Transfer the lettuce wraps to a serving plate. Serve promptly. Recipe is easily doubled.

 

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