I have always been a BIG fan of a good seven layer salad, they are great for large gatherings of friends and family, super easy to prepare in advance and pretty darn delicious too! While I love the traditional Mexican spin on seven layer salads this Middle Eastern Seven Layer Salad has stolen my heart. It is unexpected, beautiful and incredibly delicious!
From the very first time I laid eyes on the new cookbook, Modern Potluck by Kristin Donnelly, I knew I would be smitten by the recipes inside of it. It is chock-full of 100 gorgeous dishes that are just perfect for feeding a hungry crowd while being tailored to today’s need for gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free and vegan dishes. Each recipe is clearly marked with the dietary restrictions that it serves, which makes cooking from this book a pleasure and planning the menu for a big gathering a breeze!
This salad is loaded with everything from quinoa and fresh herbs to cucumbers and radishes making it a true delight for the taste buds! Whether you build a gigantic serving bowl full of it or individual seven layer salads like we did I know you are going to love the unique flavors in this one. Go ahead, blow some minds at your next Potluck!
- 2 cups quinoa (any color, but black is especially stunning), rinsed
- 5 cups water
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 cups fresh herb leaves, such as mint, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, and dill, roughly chopped (the more variety you use, the better)
- 1 bunch red radishes (about 10), halved and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 1 pound seedless cucumbers, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- ! For the dressing
- ½ teaspoon each cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and yellow mustard seeds
- 2 cups plain greek yogurt (preferably full-fat or 2%)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- In a large, heavy pot, cover the quinoa with the water, add 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes. Uncover the pot, top with a clean kitchen towel or a layer of paper towels, and close the pot again; let stand 5 minutes. (This will help ensure the quinoa is dry and fluffy.) Spread the hot quinoa out on a platter or baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. (This sounds like a fussy step, but it helps the quinoa cool without overcooking and getting mushy.)
- In a very large glass or clear plastic serving bowl, spread the iceberg lettuce in a single layer and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the herbs on top, followed by the quinoa. Spread the radishes on top, followed by the cucumbers, pushing them toward the edge of the bowl if you don’t have enough of each vegetable to form a complete layer.
- In a dry skillet, toast the spices over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar or a bowl and let cool. Use a pestle pr the bottom of an ice cream scoop to light crush the spices.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise, lemon juice and vinegar. Season with salt. Spread the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with the spices and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.