Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach

Submitted by: Eileen Parzek
The apricots cooking with the quinoa made it taste wonderful and the toasting made the quinoa nutty. I skipped the tomatoes and nuts. This traveled well to a festival - I made the dressing in a separate bottle and tossed it all before serving.

Serves: 4
Difficulty: Medium - some experience needed

Dietary guidance: v g 

Tags: salad · vegetarian · fruit · free · grain · gluten ·

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (see Ingredient note)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing (recipe follows), divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, chopped
8 cups baby spinach
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)

Method

1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with 1/3 cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.
4. Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.

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