If you've never popped quinoa before, here's your chance; it’s like making the world’s tiniest popcorn. The quinoa gets crunchy and toasty, and once it’s mixed into melted dark chocolate and cooled, it imparts a wonderful flavor and texture to the bark. You could get away with making this bark with just quinoa and chocolate if you’re a purist. Me, I added some dried tart cherries because I’m a sucker for cherries, but feel free to add whatever nuts, seeds, or dried fruit you’re feeling and really make it your own. Regardless, you’ll end up with one quick, easy dessert. —Sarah | Wisconsin from Scratch
Heat a medium sized, high sided pot over medium-high heat until it’s really hot (I actually found it most efficient to set the pan heating, then chop up the chocolate and cherries while I waited for it to come to temperature).
Once pot is screaming hot, add the quinoa, making sure the seeds are spread evenly across the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to medium, put a lid on the pot, and shake it to agitate the quinoa. If your pot is hot enough, you should start hearing the quinoa popping almost immediately (if not, keep heating and shaking the pot periodically until you hear popping). Continue shaking until you no longer hear popping. If it smells like the quinoa is getting too toasty, just remove pot from heat and continue shaking. Once popping has stopped, dump popped quinoa out onto a baking sheet to cool off.
Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is smoothly melted. Stir in the dried cherries and all but 1-2 tsps of the popped quinoa.
Place baking sheet in refrigerator to cool until chocolate has solidified (about 1 hour). Peel bark off of parchment paper and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.