Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts Dried Cranberries, and Gouda

This is a delicious little grain salad, great as a side dish for a light entree, a quick lunch, or an afternoon snack. I absolutely love every ingredient in this...

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts Dried Cranberries, and Gouda
Fine Cooking: CookFresh

1 1/2 C cooked quinoa, preferably red
5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion quartered and thinly sliced
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
4 oz. (about 3 C) arugula, thinly sliced 
4 oz gouda cheese, finely diced
3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1 large, crisp Apple (such as Fuji, Pink Lady, or Gala) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 C coarsely chopped walnuts
1 C finely diced fennel
3/4 dried cranberries
3 Tbs. sherry vinegar

*I would recommend adding:
juice of half a lemon

**If you want to make it a more "Waldorf-like" salad, add in a bit of mayonnaise or, better yet, some plain (Greek) yogurt

Rinse and drain the quinoa, then place in a pot with 2 1/2 C water and a bit of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender but not overcooked. (I like it nice and tough to give the salad a nice chewiness)

Drain any excess water from the quiona and allow it to cool. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion until tender and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss with the onions until the vinegar cooks away, about one minute. Let this mixture cool.

In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onion, apple, gouda, celery, fennel, and walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk the sherry vinegar, about 3 Tbs olive oil, salt, and pepper (and lemon if using). Pour this dressing over the salad and thoroughly mix it in. 

If the salad seems dry, add more oil, vinegar, (or your choice of mayonnaise or yogurt) as needed.

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