אנונימי Thursday 26.3.15 No comments 1804 views

Spring is in the Air! Spring Quinoa Salad

Spring is in the Air!

I am trying to remember when it happened. Did it happen at once, or was it a process that took a while?

 

Maybe it was when I began studying at Hebrew University and had to move to Jerusalem. Compared to most of Israel, Jerusalem has freezing, windy winters and pleasant, romantic summer nights.  Or maybe it was when I started working at grown-up jobs and rain was no longer a justifiable excuse to turn over and go back to sleep.

 

Perhaps it was this winter, which for some reason felt more real and rainy and snowy than usual. The chill outside, together with my new jobs and responsibilities, my apartment hunting and then moving apartments, made me wish sometimes that I was a bear that could wake up when the winter was over.

 

In any case, even if I can't put my finger on when, I can certainly say that I've officially changed sides! Once a fan of rain and gray weather, I’m now a big advocate of heat and summer. 

Thank God, the spring is starting to show signs! 

The days are becoming longer, it's warming up and the scent of renewal is in the air (or maybe it's the fumes of the bleach from the Passover cleaning?) Spring is here (sneeze) and we can begin to shed the layers and put away those heavy boots.

We can also begin to store away all those hot, heavy winter recipes and bring out the healthy, easy, colorful and light dishes.

This delicious quinoa salad is lovely as a side dish for a big festive meal (did anybody say Passover?) and a great meal by itself on an ordinary week day, especially if you add a protein like feta cheese or leftover diced chicken. The mix of quinoa, greens, crunchy fruit, vegetables and pumpkin seeds creates a healthy dish that has a lot going on in terms of textures, tastes and colors.  And of course… it’s easy to prepare. 

Spring quinoa salad with apples, herbs, celery and lemon vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (or any type of grain you like - rice, bulgur, barley)

 4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced

 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup spearmint leaves, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, finely chopped

2 peeled carrots, diced

2 green apples, diced

2/3 cup dried cranberries/ sour cherries/golden raisins

Topping: 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or any nut you like

Dressing: Simple lemon vinaigrette

1/4  cup lemon juice, plus the grated zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tsp honey or silan (date honey)

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (on Passover, it can manage without)

Preparation: Combine the salad ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a different bowl to blend. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Photos: Danielle Benshushan 

 

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