This Middle Eastern-inspired grain salad is made with quinoa, figs and preserved lemon peel. Serve it as a side dish with meat skewers or other grilled fare.

Yield: Serves 6.



  • 1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water, divided
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup diced dried golden Calimyrna figs or golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup diced seeded Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped preserved lemon peel or 1 tbsp grated lemon peel


  1. Place quinoa in a large frypan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa is lightly toasted, about 7 – 9 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Bring 1 1/2 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork; set aside.
  3. To prepare dressing, whisk together yogurt, mint, honey and salt until blended; set aside.
  4. Heat oil in same frypan over medium heat. Add zucchini and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, cooked quinoa, figs, tomatoes and lemon peel. Add dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

249 calories, 5.1 g fat, 9.8 g protein, 43.2 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre, 289 mg sodium

Nutritional analysis completed with figs and grated lemon peel


Look for preserved lemons in Middle Eastern grocery stores. To make your own preserved lemons, wash 2 lemons and pat dry with paper towels. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges. Pack wedges into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1/3 cup (75 mL) pickling salt and toss to coat. Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice over lemons and salt. Cover jar and shake gently. The salt will not dissolve completely. Let lemons stand at room temperature for 7 days, shaking jar daily to redistribute lemons and salt. Refrigerate for up to 1 month, shaking jar occasionally. Makes 16 wedges.

To use preserved lemons, scoop and discard pulp out of as many wedges of preserved lemons as required. Finely chop lemon peel and use as directed in recipe.