Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach
This spicy salad with little jewels of dried apricot in the mix would be welcome at lunch or a simple weekday dinner. You can prepare the salad and dressing ahead of time.
1 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing, (recipe follows), divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, chopped
8 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with 1/3 cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.
4. Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.
Ingredient note: Quinoa is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting this grain before simmering enhances its flavor.
To toast nuts: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate the quinoa and dressing separately for up to 2 days.
Calories 325, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 5 g, Sodium 214 mg, Carbohydrate 51 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 11 g, Potassium 957 mg