Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple and Dried Cranberries

This quinoa salad has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years. It's a great side dish that goes well with just about anything that comes off the grill. First domesticated somewhere between 3,000-4,000 years ago, the tiny seed contains essential amino acids making it a complete protein, one of the few on the list of super foods.

The author of this recipe, darksideofthespoon, says it is quite flexible. Use whatever fruit or nuts you have on hand; I often use macadamia, instead of hazelnuts. For me two apples are a must, a red and a green.

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple and Dried Cranberries
Serves 4
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 1/2 C water, for quinoa
1 Tb olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1 bunch (about 5 to 6) green onions, chopped (green parts only)
1/2 C dried cranberries
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 gala apple (any apple will do)
1 large lemon, juiced
Generous drizzle of any kind of oil (hazelnut or macadamia are especially good)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add the quinoa to boiling water with a pinch of salt. Turn the stove down to medium-low and let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool.
Preheat a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil and soften your finely chopped onion and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat, trying not to brown them, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside in a large salad bowl.
Finely chop the parsley followed by your dried cranberries and green onions. Add all this to the onion and celery mixture.
Core and dice the apple, put your apple chunks in the bowl with the other ingredients. Squeeze the entire lemon over the apple to season the salad and prevent the apple from turning brown.
Add quinoa and hazelnuts to the mixture, drizzle with the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Season with more lemon juice if you like.
Mix well and cool completely. Allow the flavors to meld for 20 minutes before serving.

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