Quinoa Salad with Pears and Dried Cherries
This grain salad is full of harvest flavors, including ripe pears, toasty walnuts and chewy sweet dried cherries. It pairs perfectly with a roasted chicken.
Serves 8 to 10
2 cups quinoa
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
2 tsp. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups diced pears (1/2-inch dice)
1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain. Bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a 4-quart pot over high heat. Add 3/4 tsp. salt. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more boiling water as necessary to keep the quinoa covered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the quinoa with cold water to stop the cooking.
Transfer the quinoa to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and toss lightly to coat. Spread the quinoa on the baking sheet and cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Put the vinegar in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Whisk in the honey. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar or olive oil as needed.
Put the cooked and cooled quinoa in a large serving bowl and toss to break up any clumps. Add the pears, goat cheese, walnuts, cherries, tarragon, and 1/2 cup vinaigrette and toss. Taste and season as needed with more vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and serve.
Make Ahead Tips
The salad can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. If making ahead, let sit at room temperature so it’s not refrigerator-cold and season with more vinaigrette, salt, and pepper before serving.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 117
, pp. 50-55
May 3, 2012