This is easy to make in large quantities for entertaining. Feel free to change the amounts of the salad ingredients or to add other dried fruits as you wish.
Make Ahead: The salad, minus the toasted almonds, tastes better after a day's refrigeration so that the flavors can meld.
Yield: Makes 8 cups
- For the salad
- 2 cups dried quinoa, rinsed in cold water and drained thoroughly
- 4 cups water
- 10 dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see NOTE)
- Lettuce leaves, for serving
- Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish (optional)
- For the dressing
- Finely grated zest from 2 limes, plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup sunflower, safflower or walnut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the salad: Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed, watching carefully near the end to avoid overcooking or scorching the bottom. Uncover and fluff with a fork, then transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the dried apricots and currants in a heatproof bowl. Cover them with just-boiled water to plump them up; drain after 10 to 12 minutes, then add the fruit to the quinoa along with the scallions.
For the dressing: Combine the lime juice, honey, oil, the teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste in a liquid measuring cup, whisking until emulsified. Stir in the zest, then pour into the quinoa mixture and toss to incorporate.
(At this point, the salad can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days in advance.)
When ready to serve, mix in the toasted almonds. Line a platter with lettuce leaves, then spoon the quinoa salad over the leaves. Scatter the feta over the top, if using, or serve alongside.
NOTE: Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking them often to avoid scorching. Cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool completely.
From Susan Barocas, director of the Jewish Food Experience.
Tested by Amy Kim.
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