I don’t have anything against potato salad or three-bean salad. It’s just that they’re so….predictable. If you’re looking for something just a little bit different to take to your neighbor’s cookout, I offer this salad for your serious consideration. Sweet, spicy, nutty and tart all at the same time, it’s purely delightful.

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, don’t be afraid. It’s super-easy to cook and the flavor is mild and delicious. Plus it’s so good for you. You can read more about the wonders of quinoa here.

The first time I made this recipe I was out of lemons and used limes. It’s delicious both ways. The Sweetie Pie prefers limes, so that’s the way I make it now.

And do you know the proper way to cut up an avocado? Since I’ve learned how to do this, my poor avocados have been spared many, many curses.

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Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

Source: Fine Cooking magazine

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs raisins
  • 2 tbs dried apricots thinly sliced
  • 1 cup quinoa (red or white)
  • sea salt
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • avocados pitted, peeled and cut into chunks
  • scallions thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tbs chopped toasted almonds
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10-15 minutes. Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.
  3. Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 1 tbs juice. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika and 1/4 tsp salt. In a large bowl toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

* This recipe is being shared over at Cybele Pascal’s blog. Click on over for lots more allergen-friendly yummy-ness.

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