Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Dates, and Almonds

By • March 9, 2012 50 Comments

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Author Notes: Last November, Merrill and I and our friend Sharelle pored over the lunch menu at Sitka & Spruce in Seattle. And we all immediately homed in on the strangest item on the menu: yogurt with toasted quinoa, dates, almonds, and rose salt. The dish -- the clear winner on our crowded table -- was like a Turkish recipe in a West Coast cloak. At home, without rose salt, a little digging in my pantry produced a jar of olive salt, which worked beautifully. A good flaky sea salt will work just fine, as well.Amanda Hesser

Serves 1 (can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.)

  • 1/2 tablespoon red quinoa
  • 5 shelled pistachios (raw or salted, either will work), chopped
  • 5 almonds, chopped
  • 6 ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • Pinch of freshly grated lemon zest
  • Flaky sea salt or other coarse salt -- or olive salt if you can get hold of some
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons best quality olive oil
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the quinoa into a small saute pan and place over medium heat. Toast the quinoa -- it will begin popping when it's toasted, and as soon as it is pour it into a bowl to cool. Spread the pistachios and almonds in a small baking dish and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  2. Spread the yogurt on a small plate or shallow bowl. Sprinkle on the quinoa, pistachios, almonds, and dates. Fleck with lemon zest and sea salt, and finish with a sprinkling of olive oil.

More Great Recipes: Quinoa|Snacks|Cheese & Dairy|Breakfast & Brunch|Breakfast

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Comments (50) Questions (1)

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2 days ago booglix

Really delicious combination! It seems like a flexible recipe and I look forward to trying variations. What seems essential is good yogurt, toastiness, crunch, earthy sweetness, lemon zest, with a bit of olive oil and salt. I didn't have Greek yogurt but used some fantastic local yogurt and it was great.

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about 1 month ago Skiingstella

Awesome! I'll use only one date next time. But WOW.

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about 1 month ago Andrea

My new Go To breakfast! And so versatile! I have a nearby grocery store with an excellent dry goods bulk section. Planning to make use of that as a way to really mix things up without having to invest in a lot of larger containers of things. I could see this as being really good with dried mango... macadamias... and so much more!

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about 1 month ago Andrea

OH, and PS... don't skip the lemon zest! It really takes this to a different level.

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about 1 year ago cooking in the canyon

This is delicious! I've just made for the first time with golden quinoa, and hazelnuts instead of pistachios. Unfortunately, I had to wing it on the lemon zest, and just scraped what I could off of the lemon with a fork (only tools I had at the office). I'm really looking forward to modifying it and trying all sorts of variations. A great way to use up the package of Medjool dates I had tucked in the pantry!

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about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love that you winged it in our office!

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over 1 year ago Faith

Do you rinse the quinoa first and toast it wet? It doesn't sound like that is what you do but just need to check...have been reading that quinoa needs to be rinsed. Cannot wait to try this dish...thanks.

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over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I don't rinse it!

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over 1 year ago kimberly.godwin

MMMMMM..... I just made this and it is soooo simple and crazy delish. Don't leave out the lemon zest! It made all the difference. I chopped up alot more nuts than what it calls for and was happy I did. (I also think a couple cranberries chopped would be a nice bright addittion.)

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over 1 year ago Neophyte

Tantalizing enough to make me spring for several ounces of olive salt. I don't think I'll be disappointed.

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over 1 year ago Anne

This was really yummy! I used driec cranberries because I didn't have dates. The fresh lemon zest makes it! I'll me making this again soon.

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over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

The fruit is very much interchangeable -- thanks for giving it a try!

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over 1 year ago Amy Perlsinsky

I just made this for breakfast and it was so delicious!!!! I did decrease the amount of yogurt by quite a bit though as 6oz is way too much for just me! Such a delightful surprising flavours though!

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about 2 years ago Kat

This is delicious, I underestimated the pairing of such simple ingredients. so good! didn't add oil and it wasn't missed- but the salt! now that's something else all together!

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about 2 years ago ortolan

Finally got around to making this recipe as written, with dates. I bought some beautiful, large fresh Medjools and used marcona almonds, I was so excited. I have to say that it is leaps and bounds more delicious with prunes instead of dates! The plump tartness of the prunes and good, spicy, flavorful olive oil make this superb.

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about 2 years ago Julieek

So you just eat the yogurt by the mouthful, Ortolan? I didn't think that pita would work either. But it looks pretty yogurt heavy to eat on its own - especially if it is full fat Greek yogurt with olive oil. Greek yogurt in its many manifestations is often an accompaniment to something else. I thought that this might be the case here as well. I did order the rose salt online!

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about 2 years ago ortolan

I *just* finished a beautiful bowl of this. I use Fage 2%. If you are unaccustomed to the intensity of Greek Yogurt, I suppose you could substitute whatever yogurt you love eating for breakfast. I've also made this for many of my friends, who have loved it. The olive oil actually works to cut the richness of the yogurt, believe it or not.

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about 2 years ago Julieek

Thanks, Ortolan! I will be sure to give this a try. The way that it was spread on the plate (above) gave me the impression that it was a kind of 'dip' (a sweet tatziki or labne) or to be had with a bread or something. I am sure that it is delicious!

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about 2 years ago Julieek

What would you serve this with? Pita? Any other suggestions?

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about 2 years ago ortolan

It's a very filling breakfast. Just serve it with coffee or tea! I think pita would be terrible with it.

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about 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Julieek, Ortolan is right that it's filling, but if you'd like a bread with it, I might actually go with something like a biscuit!

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over 2 years ago ortolan

Oh. My. God. This was so much more delicious that I would have ever expected. I used prunes instead of dates, and pecans instead of almonds, and drizzled a bit of honey over the top along with the olive oil for good measure--the flavors came together anyway so beautifully--thank you for this remarkable recipe!

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over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hey -- glad you tried it. Lots of others also altered the recipe with success; seems to be built for personalization. And if you ever get to Seattle, Sitka & Spruce is a must!

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over 2 years ago ortolan

I shall indeed!

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over 2 years ago fmacmac

Everyone I have made this for loves it; even though I have to sometimes to persuade them to try it. It's such a delicious, healthy breakfast!

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over 2 years ago Hilarybee

I love this recipe, thank you. I use just almonds and changed out orange zest for the lemon. I drizzled a citrus infused olive oil on top this time and it was even more excellent.

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over 2 years ago The Mistress of Spices

Would regular quinoa be an OK subtitute for red quinoa?

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over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Absolutely.

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over 2 years ago Lauren Paige

Saw this and wanted it immediately! Didn't have much on hand, but improved with olive oil, orange zest, almonds, raisins, and flax seeds. Delish!

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about 3 years ago fitsxarts

This is incredible. And the perfect excuse to use some pistachio oil I bought yesterday. Thanks for another winner, Amanda!

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about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Happy to hear you like it!

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about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Also, here's another great use for that pistachio oil; http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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over 3 years ago epicureanodyssey

Just returned from Seattle where for lunch one day, 3 of us devoured most everything on the menu, including that day's yogurt topped with rhubarb compote, honey and toasted black quinoa. DIVINE!