Apricot, Walnut And Quinoa Salad
A quinoa salad is one of our favorite ways to use up fruit that might otherwise be neglected. Any stone fruit will work, as will grapes, apples and pears (though the last two might lose some color). Ripe apricots are best, but even unripe ones can add a nice, textured tartness to the salad.
1 1/4 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
4 ripe apricots, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
prep: 20 minutes
total: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour chill time
1. Rinse the quinoa in a bowl or fine strainer until the water runs clear. Fill a medium saucepan with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the quinoa has absorbed almost all the water, 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the quinoa and pour it into a bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the walnut pieces in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast, tossing the pan often, until they smell good and darken some in color, 3-5 minutes. Remove them to a plate to cool.
3. Prep the apricots, bell peppers and green onions.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey and salt. Set aside until you're ready to assemble the salad. Then, drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream, constantly whisking until the dressing emulsifies.
5. To assemble the salad, combine the cooled quinoa, walnuts, apricots, bell peppers and green onions in a large bowl. Pour a litte dressing at a time over the salad, tossing to coat all the ingredients and tasting as you go. Cover and chill for 1 hour.