California Pizza Kitchen Style Quinoa & Arugula Salad



Author Notes: Last summer, a friend and I dined at the California Pizza Kitchen to celebrate our birthdays. Instead of getting my usual, I picked a meal from their featured recipes - it was the quinoa and arugula salad. I fell in love, and I decided I needed to recreate it at home. I made the vinaigrette with a red wine vinegar, rather than the champagne vinegar that the restaurant uses, and it worked perfectly. My husband said it was better than a salad you would eat at a fancy restaurant - and it takes a lot for him to give a compliment! bakeitandmakeitwithbeth

Serves: 4
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 45 min

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • A few grinds freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 8 Sun dried tomatoes in oil, cut small
  • 1 teaspoon oil from sun dried tomato jar
  • 3 ounces high-quality feta cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 bunch asparagus, stalks cut off and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Directions

For the Dressing

  1. Wash the quinoa and then cook according to package directions. Once quinoa finishes cooking, drain any excess water. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. While quinoa is cooling, prepare the dressing. In a smallish bowl, mix together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, oregano, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Once quinoa has cooled, add the sun dried tomatoes, sun dried tomato oil, feta cheese, and dressing to the bowl. Toss well to coat. Cover bowl and put into the fridge for about 30 - 45 minutes.
  4. About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve salad, steam the asparagus. Put asparagus in a large saucepan and cover just barely with water. Put over medium heat and bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes. Asparagus is done when you can prick it through with a fork, but still tender. Don't let it get too soft!
  5. Once asparagus finishes cooking, drain and transfer to a plate to cool.
  6. When ready to serve the salad, mix in the 1 1/2 cups of baby arugula to the quinoa and toss. Divide the salad between 3 - 4 serving plates. Top each plate with asparagus and toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired.
  7. Enjoy!

For the Salad

More Great Recipes:
Salad|Pizza|American|Grains|Vegetable|Arugula|Oregano|Pine Nut|Quinoa|Red Wine|Vinegar|Make Ahead

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Kathy October 5, 2015
I just had this salad last week. It was so good, I was searching for it. I knew I could count on Food52.
 
Kathryn U. November 26, 2014
Wow!!! I just made this for a work thanksgiving potluck... This is so tasty, I can't wait! Thank you for he recipe... It is even better than the restaurant version!
 
Author Comment
bakeitandmakeitwithbeth November 26, 2014
I'm so glad you liked it, Kathryn! Have a happy Thanksgiving. Hope you will check out my other recipes on my blog. Bake It and Make It with Beth.
 
Michelle M. August 8, 2016
Just ordered this from local CPK and there were a few rings of red onion in as well. I'm thinking of adding about a tablespoon of dried currents soaked for a few min in the vinegar... Which is in a similar arugula salad I make called Zuni Chicken with bread salad. Check it out.
 
Margey D. August 26, 2016
Yes,red onion is in there. To keep it from overpowering the salad, thinly sliced and put in ice water while you put the salad together.