Some people like quinoa for its nutty taste; but I think quinoa is all about the texture – plus that cute little white curl of germ that pops out of the hull. Here's a Mediterranean spin on quinoa salad with chickpeas, lemon and mint. —Lucy Mercer
In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and let stand while you pull together the rest of the dish.
Add the quinoa, chickpeas, celery, raisins, mint and olives, if using. Toss together. Taste for seasoning and add remaining salt and pepper, or maybe lemon juice, if needed. Serve at room temperature or place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. If seving from the refrigerator, let it sit for a few minutes to shake off the chill - this salad is best at room temp