Friday, April 9, 2010

Quinoa & Passover

I've cooked with quinoa (pronouced keen-wah) once before and I didn't have great success. Firstly, you have to rinse it (unless it is pre-rinsed) and that was an epic fail for me... more ended up in drain than anywhere else and it wasn't substantial enough for the dish. I had been hearing the buzz that quinoa was a great find during Passover and was really excited to try a new dish for our seder (or non-seder, as we just gathered together the night before- no actual seder took place but there was matzoh ball soup!).

A friend pointed out a recipe for quinoa salad-- and I can't turn down anything with asparagus! This recipe turned out pretty well. I think most of my family enjoyed it and it was a nice, light dish with great flavor. I used a bit more asparagus than the recipe called for. I wasn't a huge fan of the oranges, probably because I'm really picky about oranges... what other fruit do you think you could substitute for oranges? I'd love to hear what you think.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates & Oranges
Cooking Light

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water chicken broth (low-sodium)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (if you use chicken broth, you may want to skip this)
1 cup fresh orange sections (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (or more if you want!)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
5 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 pound (2-inch) slices asparagus, steamed and chilled (I used a few extra stalks)
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Mint sprigs (optional)

1. To prepare salad, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add white onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add quinoa to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa mixture to a large bowl. Add orange and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño); toss gently to combine.

2. To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with chopped mint. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Serve at room temperature.



  1. That sound so good, I love the combination of ingredients. And I have TONS of dates - bought a huge bag to make my charoset!

  2. I made this for my coworkers for lunch today and we all loved it. The different flavors really compliment each other. I can't wait to have it again!