Now & Again
This quinoa side dish has all of the flavors of charoset, the mixture of apples, wine, and nuts that is a traditional part of the Seder plate (see “An Orange on the Seder Plate,” page 165). It’s especially perfect for Passover since it doesn’t include anything leavened. I also love it because you can serve it at room temperature, which means you can absolutely make it in advance.
You Will Need
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve (this may sound like an annoying step, but don’t skip it; quinoa has a natural coating that tastes soapy). Put the rinsed quinoa into a medium saucepan with 3½ cups [840 ml] water and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, softened, and each grain has “spiraled,” about 12 minutes.
Transfer the quinoa to a large sheet pan and use a spoon to spread it out. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, wine, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the raisins, apples, and a large pinch of salt and stir well to combine. Cover and let the mixture sit until it cools to room temperature.
Next, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the walnuts and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are dark brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the raisins and apples and their liquid, the walnuts and all of their fragrant oil, and the parsley to the quinoa and stir well. Season the mixture to taste with salt. Serve the quinoa immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before serving (bring to room temperature, then taste and adjust with salt if needed).