Cheap & Cheerful: Minty Mediterranean Salad

Serves 4 to 6

By Jilly Lagasse

This recipe is for a big ol’ bowl of goodness, my Minty Mediterranean Salad. I guess this is my gluten-free version of a tabbouleh salad, just Jilly-fied. I’ve used quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur wheat, and I add in all my favorites: cucumbers, tomatoes and olives, not to mention tons of fresh mint and parsley. This to me is summer in a bowl. It’s even better with good-quality Greek olives if you can find them. To dress this salad, I like to keep it simple with just good-quality olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can’t go wrong with this salad to accompany any of your summertime meals. Feel free to add some grilled shrimp, steak or chicken to it as well, or some feta cheese crumbles or grilled halloumi cheese slices would be divine. Truly, the sky is the limit with this fresh and lively salad. This recipe is gluten free and vegan.


  • 1 cup quinoa (yields 3 cups quinoa cooked)
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup black olives, halved
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the quinoa as directed on package and allow to cool.

Put the quinoa in a large bowl and add the onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, mint and parsley. Drizzle the olive oil over top and add the lemon juice.

Season with a bit of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, and stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients. Serve either straight away or cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

Nutrition Analysis: 180 cal, 9 g fat, 0 mg chol, 170 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 5 g protein.

Jilly Lagasse began cooking as a child when her father, Chef Emeril Lagasse, gave her a set of chef’s whites and let her help in the pastry and dessert department in one of his restaurants. She was diagnosed with celiac in 2004 and has written two gluten-free cookbooks with her sister, Jessie Lagasse Swanson, as the duo The Lagasse Girls,

Photo by Jilly Lagasse