Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries & Gouda
With its dried fruit, walnuts, and apples, this sweet-and-savory dish is reminiscent of a Waldorf salad. It’s a great meat-free lunch or dinner.
PER SERVING: 330 CALORIES | 9G PROTEIN | 34G CARB | 19G TOTAL FAT | 4G SAT FAT | 7G MONO FAT | 7G POLY FAT | 15MG CHOL | 350MG SODIUM | 4G FIBER
More About Quinoa
Known as the “mother grain” of the Incan empire, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a small, flat seed. It’s a staple for millions in South America and is available in a gorgeous array of colors, from golden tan to brick red. It’s an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E.
Quinoa is mild, sweet, and slightly astringent, with an intriguing texture that’s both soft and crunchy. The seeds are coated in a bitter natural substance called saponin, which is usually washed off before the grain is sold; still, it’s best to give quinoa a rinse before cooking. It cooks like rice (but more quickly) and makes an excellent addition to pilafs, soups, and salads.
Store quinoa in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
You Will Need
In a bowl, rinse the quinoa with water, rubbing it between your fingers for about 10 seconds. Drain and transfer it to a 3-quart pot. Add 21/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. sea salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender but still delicately crunchy, about 15 minutes.
Drain the quinoa and return it to the pot. Cover and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes; then fluff it with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.
While the quinoa cooks, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and brown around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss with the onion until the vinegar cooks away, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onions, arugula, cheese, celery, apple, walnuts, fennel, and cranberries.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil with the sherry vinegar, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and gently mix it in. Let rest a moment; then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if the salad seems dry.