Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quinoa Salad

This recipe is originally from the cookbook גג חמישים שקל (“at most 50 shekels”) by Inbal Klein, although I no longer use the book when I make it, so I probably made some changes from the original.  It’s one of my favorite recipes, because it has a lovely mixture of the soft texture of the quinoa (which also adds some protein), the crunchiness of the almonds, the fresh herby flavor of mint and parsley, the sweetness of apricots and the lovely tartness of lots and lots of lemon.

Unlike most salads, this one tastes much better when it has been in the fridge for a while – even overnight! So it’s a great dish to make for dinner parties, because it can be made in advance. And if you have leftovers – have the rest for lunch the next day. That’s what I always do.

Quinoa Salad


* 1 cup quinoa
* 1.5 cups water
* 1-2 tsps olive oil
* 1 batch of parsley, very finely chopped
* 1 batch of mint. very finely chopped
* About 100 grams (3.5 oz) dried apricots (I like to use organic unsulphured apricots, although they don’t have the same lovely orange color), diced
* 1/2 red onion, finely diced
* 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* juice from 1-2 lemons
* a few tablespoons of slivered almonds or pine nuts, lightly roasted
* Salt and pepper


1. In a medium saucepan heat the small quantity of olive oil, and lightly sauté the quinoa for a minute or so. Add the water and a little salt, and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft but still a tiny bit crunchy. Take of the heat and uncover to allow the quinoa to cool. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the herbs, apricots and onion. 

3. When the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, add it to the bowl. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, and add the juice from one lemon. Save the rest of the juice for later. Season well with salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap and place the salad in the refrigerator at least for a few hours. 

4. When you are ready to serve the salad, take it out of the refrigerator and check the seasoning. You will likely want to add still more lemon juice, as the salad tastes best when it is full of fresh lemony goodness. You may also want to check that there is enough salt and pepper. 

5. Just before serving, sprinkle the roasted almonds or pine nuts and mix. 


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