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.
12 responses to “French Fridays: Quinoa, Fruit, and Nut Salad”
What is the dollop on top? Sour cream, or ?
I knew I should have said something about that…it’s plain yogurt!
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.
It’s definitely good for making ahead for lunch. I enjoyed my leftovers for lunch the next day.
Same results here. I liked some of the parts better than the sum of the parts.
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.
I’m not quite sure what he didn’t like about the quinoa…
That blue plate is so pretty! I love quinoa but wasn’t too crazy about this recipe.
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.
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.
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) .
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…