Quinoa Fruit and Nut Salad-French Fridays with Dorie

Update!! Thanks to Yuri from Chefpandita for enlightening me on the fact that quinoa is a “seed”, not a “grain”! I’ll research my subject more carefully from now on.

I love many grain high fiber and super healthy dishes,but have not ever cooked quinoa, despite having been told by many friends who eat well and are very health conscious that quinoa is a very nutritious and low fat seed. I kept saying I would try it one day and even bought a package of quinoa which got relegated to the back of my pantry somehow. When I saw that Quinoa with Fruit and Nuts was the selected dish for this French Fridays with Dorie, I dug it out determined to make the dish. I only needed salad greens and fresh herbs from the grocery story and I was set. Some still supple apricots, golden and dark raisins awaited their turn before also being shoved in the back of the pantry. The quinoa seeds should be well-rinsed before cooking, drained well after cooking and brought to room temperature. Dried mixed fruits and nuts, plus freshly chopped herbs are stirred into the quinoa, then the salad is dressed with a lemon ginger vinaigrette. It’s important to let the salad sit for about an hour so the flavors meld and believe me, there is a difference after an hour!  To serve, place mixed greens on a chilled salad plate, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper; then pile the quinoa atop the salad greens with a dollop of plain yogurt to finish. Fabulous! The recipe is in Dorie Greenspan’s book, “Around My French Table”, a perfect collection of everyday delicious food. Check out FFwD for more information on the book and cooking group. 


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  1. tricia s.
    April 1, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    Quinoa was completely new to Nana and I….I am almost embarrassed to admit. I didn't even have any healthy friends encouraging me:) It was fun for us to try something that we never would have without FF's but I am not sure that Nana will be revisiting it. I loved it with the yogurt and plan to use this dish for quick and easy brown bag lunches. Which for once, will be healthy 🙂

  2. Lesley
    April 2, 2011 / 1:18 am

    I once had quinoa in my pantry too – sadly it stayed there until it had to be thrown out. Now I'm inspired by this salad – it looks so good.

  3. Adriana
    April 2, 2011 / 2:52 am

    Love your tableware! I'm glad you enjoyed the salad. This was a great week to test those boundaries.

  4. Anonymous
    April 2, 2011 / 4:21 am

    Lovely photos! I really enjoy cooking quinoa, and I'll leave you with a fun fact: quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain 🙂

  5. Lynne
    April 2, 2011 / 10:44 am

    tricia s-I loved this too, but I can understand why Nana didn't like it. I had trepidations, but was surprised! I really like apricots, so that flavor came through loud and clear.Lesley- I had mine in the pantry too, but I have since read you should refrigerate or freeze the quinoa to keep it from going rancid.Adriana-thanks, I'm glad I made the salad and you are correct about testing the boundaries. My husband loved it, or so he said, which surprised me!Chefpandita-Oops-thanks for the correction and the comment.

  6. Candy Girl
    April 2, 2011 / 12:04 pm

    I love all of your tableware too – so rustic, yet exotic.

  7. Cher
    April 2, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    Very lovely! It looks great. I had always assumed this was a grain as well… so you weren't alone.

  8. Lana
    April 3, 2011 / 8:42 am

    I made quinoa several times this past year, and loved all of the incarnations, including this one:) I am happy that your first attempt was a success – now you just have to experiment and find the combinations of flavors and spices that suit you:) One of my favorites is quinoa with sweet potatoes and bell peppers, a recipe of Mark Bittman's.I cannot stop looking at your photos. Truly stunning!

  9. Beth
    April 3, 2011 / 11:37 pm

    I love quinoa, but I've only cooked it on its own rather than in a recipe. This one looks great!

  10. Betsy
    April 4, 2011 / 12:53 am

    What great photos! Even if quinoa is a seed, it has the same texture as a grain. I stash all kinds of interesting ingredients in my pantry too. I love how many of the recipes in this book are using them.

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