grain salad

I always keep a variation of this salad in the refrigerator for a fast pick me up when we get home ravished after work and still need to cook dinner.  Serve with chucks of good Parmesan cheese, sliced radishes, and a cold glass of white Burgundy – the evening party begins.


  • 1 1/2 C quinoa, well rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 3 C water
  • 2 tea kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 1/2 tea Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBsp sherry vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp walnut oil
  • 1/2 C dried cherries
  • small handful of basil leaves
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel, finely diced
  • 1/2 toasted pine nuts

Put quinoa in a heavy skillet and dry toast it over medium heat until quinoa is light brown (4 minutes). Bring 3 C water to boil with 1 tea salt.  Transfer quinoa to boiling water, bring to simmer and cover.  Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.  Cool.   Season the minced shallots with 1 tea salt.  Let them weep for a few minutes.  Whisk in the mustard and sherry vinegar.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil and walnut oil. Season with salt & pepper.   Roughly chop cherries & add to quinoa.  Cut basil leaves into ribbons and add.  Add fennel, toasted pine nuts and vinaigrette.

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