French Fridays: Quinoa, Fruit, and Nut Salad

My husband has dubbed my weekly French Fridays with Dorie recipes my “experimental French recipes”.  This came about because he didn’t really care for the recipes the first few weeks I participated.  They were just not to his taste.

This week’s recipe, Quinoa, Fruit, and Nut Salad, definitely falls into the “experimental” category for us.  I have only cooked with quinoa once before, and we didn’t love the results.  Still, in the spirit of FFwD I decided to give it a try.  It sounds good on paper:  the quinoa is tossed with a mix of dried fruits, nuts, and herbs and then finished with a lemon-ginger vinaigrette.

I loved the smell of the quinoa after it was done cooking.  It reminded me a little bit of peanut butter cookies.  I used whatever fruits a nuts I had on hand.  For the fruits I used a mix of raisins and dried apricots.  The nuts were mostly pine nuts and walnuts, with a few leftover almonds thrown in.  For herbs, I used fresh basil, mint and parsley.  After tossing all the ingredients together, Dorie suggests letting the salad sit for at least an hour to let the flavors blend.  I highly recommend this step!  I tasted mine right after adding the lemon-ginger dressing and then again a couple of hours later.  The flavor definitely benefited from sitting;  the lemon juice flavor was very pronounced when I tasted the salad at first, but had really mellowed by the time we ate dinner.

The recipe claims to make 4 servings.  These are very generous main dish servings.  If you wish to serve this salad a side dish, as I did, it makes more like 6 servings.

The verdict?  Mixed results.  I enjoyed the salad a lot.  It liked the nutty flavor of the quinoa mixed with the sweet fruity flavors.  My 7 year old daughter seemed to like it too and even had seconds.  My husband said he liked the flavors, except when there was too much quinoa in the bite.  I think he’d have been happy with a “fruit and nut” salad!

This would be a great salad to take to a pot luck or to serve at a shower or luncheon as a light main-course.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “French Fridays: Quinoa, Fruit, and Nut Salad

  1. Kristi

    What is the dollop on top? Sour cream, or ?

  2. We had the same results as yours – mixed 🙂 Nana was not a fan and neither of us knew what to expect since we had not tried quinoa before. Since she does not care for raisins or yogurt…her liking this was a longshot. I liked it much more and also look forward to using this new ingredient for big bowls of lunch to pack and take to work. That don’t cause guilt 🙂 And loved your pretty plate.

  3. Same results here. I liked some of the parts better than the sum of the parts.

  4. Whats not to like about quinoa except maybe the texture? I loved it and suspect it will get added to all sorts of things. I did add some salt and that made a big difference I think.

  5. That blue plate is so pretty! I love quinoa but wasn’t too crazy about this recipe.

  6. Your salad looks wonderful and I love your dish! I think the suggested serving size was more than generous because I still have plenty leftover after dinner last night and lunch today. I think I could have easily cut the recipe in half, but at the same time it is really nice to have in the frig to eat for lunch again tomorrow.

  7. I halved the recipe and it definitely yielded three servings. The leftovers are my lunch for today and I can’t wait, especially after reading how great they are.

  8. Hmmm. Never would have thought of peanut butter – interesting observation… This was definitely bigger than four servings for sure. I halved the recipe & I had a serving the night I ate it and then lunch for three days (plus whatever the kids ate in between) .

  9. I got way more than 4 or 6 servings from this one. I’m still eating it, but it keeps pretty well. I forgot that Dorie’s serving sizes are often generous, and I made a double batch, one for me with fruit and one without for my husband. It’s been great with lunches though…

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