This salad packs a flavorful punch with tart apples, creamy cheese and sweet dried fruits.
By Amber Massey
- 1½ cups quinoa
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large red onion, quartered and sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced
- ½ cup (2 ounces) Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1 large crisp apple, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, diced
- ¾ cup walnut halves, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- ¼ cup dried tart cherries
- ½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinager
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine quinoa and 2½ cups vegetable broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender but still slightly crunchy, about 15 minutes.
- Drain quinoa and return to the pot. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.
- While quinoa cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced onion and ¼ teaspoon if salt; cook, stirring frequently until tender and brown around the edges, 6-8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinager and toss with the onions until the vinager cooks away, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl combine the quinoa, onions, spinach, and the next 7 ingredients (through apricots). In a small bowl, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with the red wine vinegar and black pepper. Add the dressing to the salad, tossing gently to combine.
Amber Massey is a southern-raised, food-loving, registered dietitian focusing on the culinary world of dietetics. Personal chef, author of her blog, Chocolate Broccoli, and accidental lover of food photography, Amber takes pride in healthy recipe development as well as culinary and nutrition instruction through personal and public cooking classes, public speaking, and media outlets. Amber can be seen in print for her nutrition expertise, as well as multiple magazine publications for her culinary creations, including Taste of Home, Healthy Cooking, Simple and Delicious, and Country Women’s Magazine.