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Author Notes: I for one cook what I most enjoy eating, and as far as I'm concerned, quinoa is delicious no matter what you put in it. So when I came across darksideofthespoon's quinoa salad recipe (https://food52.com/recipes/18012-quinoa-salad-with-hazelnuts-apple-and-dried-cranberries), I started experimenting, and after many iterations, have come up with my favorite version of a quinoa salad. And not to belabor the point, but as darksideofthespoon mentions, quinoa salad is a very versatile dish; feel free to experiment with your own favorite formulation. —Walker Mills
Serves 6-8, generously
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and toasted
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, or asiago
- 1/2 cup chiffonade of mint
- 1/3 cup minced cilantro
- 1 apple, or pear
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, or coarsely chopped dried cranberries
- 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, deveined and coarsely chopped
- 1 red onion, quartered and sliced
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons coconut, or grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger, or galangal
- 1 habanero, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325. Spread the hazelnuts in an even layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes: Remove the hazelnuts from the oven, wrap them in a towel to steam for 1 minute, then let them cool to room temperature. Deskin and coarsely chop or crush them.
- Boil the chicken stock, and add the salt and quinoa; return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Let rest for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork, and mix in the cheese, mint, cilantro, and hazelnuts.
- Zest the lime, and set the zest aside. Peel, core, and medium dice the apple, then transfer to a serving bowl, and combine with the pomegranate, lime juice, and white vinegar: Toss to coat.
- In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in the coconut oil over moderate heat until translucent. Add the ginger, habanero, and lime zest, and saute briefly until aromatic (approx. a minute). Add the butter, kale, and wine, and tightly cover the pan; cook, covered, for 3-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Uncover the pan, and reduce if necessary, then optionally add the creme fraiche and cook briefly.
- Combine the quinoa and the contents of the pan with the ingredients in the serving bowl, and mix well. Salt, pepper, and optionally vinegar to taste. Let rest for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together.