I’ve always made this recipe with couscous but now that I’m wheat-free I decided to try substituting quinoa. What I love about this dish is how well the flavors (cinnamon, apricots, pistachios and basil) meld together.
Ed and I were making a grilled Moroccan spiced lamb (see below) recently and I thought this salad would be a great accompaniment. We were pleased with the “swap” as it was just as tasty and has the added bonus of adding some extra protein to the meal.
This is a great salad to bring to a picnic or potluck dinner – I’m pretty certain you’ll receive a compliment or two. Plus, it’s very easy to make.
Bonus Recipe: Try Urban Accents’ Casablanca Ras el Hanout on a grilled boneless leg of lamb. In addition to the spice mixture and lamb all you need is a lime, garlic and honey. The recipe is very tasty and it smells amazing coming off the grill. You can get both the Urban Accents spice mixture and a one pound boneless leg of lamb at Wegmans.
|Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots and Pistachios|| |
- 2-1/4 cups water
- 1 cup (7 ounces) red quinoa
- ¾ cups (4 ounces) dried apricots, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup (2.5 ounces) unsalted pistachios, toasted
- 4 chopped (about ½ cup) scallions, chopped
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse with cold water.
- Place water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add apricots, cinnamon and allspice and stir. Let stand covered for 10 minutes for the water to absorb and grains and apricots to become tender.
- Fluff with a fork and stir in olive oil.
- Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
- Just before serving stir in pistachios, scallions and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
* You can use the same amount of couscous in place of quinoa. Follow cooking directions on the package. Mix couscous with apricots, cinnamon and allspice before adding the boiling water.
* Quinoa mixture can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before adding pistachios, scallions and basil.