Curried Quinoa Salad

Recipe adapted from: Simple Vegetarian Pleasures (by Jeanne Lemlin)

curried quinoa saladOriginally, this recipe was for a rice salad, but I took liberty to make slight modifications as the recipe is so versatile with many of ingredients interchangeable. The curry-flavored dressing is simple but genius – It is so accommodating that whatever the tweaks you may try, it will most likely tie everything together nicely. I made a few variations depending on what I had in freezer/refrigerator at the time, and this is my favorite combination so far.

Please note that there will be a bit of planning involved, as you are supposed to leave it for 1-8 hours for flavors to be mixed and develop after you have combined all the ingredients.  For this reason, it has become one of my lunch staples when I don’t have any left-over from the night before.

A lot of people asked for the recipe when I brought this for one of our company potlucks last year, mainly due to quinoa factor I presume, because it was mentioned rather frequently (“Oh, is this quinoa?  I LOOOVE quinoa!!”). It was Halloween potluck and there is absolutely nothing Halloween-ish about this dish, but since I didn’t plan well and am not creative enough to demonstrate Martha Stewart level of craft without thorough preparation, either, I basically made a bigger batch of this salad (that I was going to make for my own lunch anyway) with 5 carrots sticking out of it and asked my co-workers to imagine they were witch fingers. They were ever so polite in expressing their confusion regarding witch fingers (“Wow…that’s…uhh…INTERESTING”) but still wanted the recipe and the entire tupperware-ful was gone fairly quick. And I won raffle. Best. Potluck. Ever.

RECIPE (2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • About 1 cup of cold cooked red quinoa (made from about 1/3 cup quinoa boiled in 3/2 cups of water)
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 fuji apple, cut into ½-inch dice with skin on
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds (toasted if you like)
  • ½ cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 10 (or more if you like) sugar snap peas, cut in half diagonally

The Dressing

  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion or shallot
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Generous seasoning of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or flaxseed oil

Method:

  1. Combine the quinoa, raisins, apple, almond, peas, scallions, and sugar snap peas in a large bowl and toss well.
  2. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Pour the dressing on the salad and toss to coat well. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours, then bring to room temperature before serving.
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