1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 purple onion (medium, chopped, 3/4 cup)
2 tomatoes (medium, chopped, 2 cups)
2 cups parsley (minced, 1 large bunch)
1/2 cup mint (minced, 1 small bunch)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsps lemon juice (plus extra to taste)
8 ozs feta cheese (optional)
Rinse the quinoa under cool water, then combine with 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the quinoa is fluffy and chewy, about 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, soak the onion in a bowl of cold water. This softens its bite and makes it more pleasant to eat when raw.
Empty the cooked quinoa into a large bowl and allow it to cool almost to room temperature. The quinoa should feel just barely warm to the touch. You can speed this process by spreading the quinoa into a thin layer and stirring it occasionally.
Drain the red onions. Stir the onions, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and garlic into the warm quinoa. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour this over the salad and stir to combine. If using, crumble the feta over the salad and stir it in. Taste a spoonful of the salad and add more salt or pepper to taste.
Serve room temperature or cold. This salad is even better the next day, once the flavors have had a chance to mingle. Serve it on its own as a side dish or with wedges of pita bread as a light appetizer.