Friday, April 1, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - quinoa, fruit and nuts salad

Fresh herbs growing in my greenhouse window in bathroom
It's spring...finally!  We've had a few days of amazing weather and I have to say that I'm glad the majority of the cold, rainy days are behind us.  I realize cold is relative, but it's been in the low 40's upper 30's in the morning when I'm working out (outside) and that just seems too darn cold.  I'm much happier in the 50's and 60's  (which seems lucky for me, since my 30's are behind me...40's are on their way out and I have my 50's and 60's to look forward to).




This week's recipe for our French Fridays with Dorie was a perfect introduction to spring (click on the link to see what my fellow Doristas did).  A beautiful, light salad of quinoa, various dried fruits and nuts and seeds.  Add a light lemon dressing and you've got an interesting little salad.  I have cooked quinoa twice before and we have liked it.  It's a small grain that has a little "pop" when you bite into it.  It doesn't have an overwhelming flavor, so whatever you season it with will be the real star of the show.  I followed Dorie's recipe (which was easy because you get to choose what fruits and nuts you want to use) and used apricots, cranberries, black raisins, golden raisins, figs, walnuts, almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds.  I also used basil, cilantro and parsley from the new herb garden I planted in my bathroom's greenhouse window.  I made the dressing with lemon juice, olive oil and a touch of mandarin olive oil (I have some amazing flavored oils from Ojai Olive Oil Company).  I also used my citrus zest sea salt (which I love to put on any salad).  I then served the quinoa (pronounce keen wah...in case you're wondering) salad over a bed of greens.


The verdict?  Ethan wasn't a big fan (but ate it because that's the kind of good kid he is).  James liked it and said he'd like to have it again (to which I said, good...since we've got a lot left over...you'll be having it for lunch tomorrow).  I enjoyed it too, but thought it was a tad bit bland (even though the lemon dressing was quite tangy) and am going to add a bit more salt to the leftovers.


I'm off to Las Vegas today to help my youngest sister celebrate her 40th birthday!  Should be some fun stories to tell when I return.  


22 comments:

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

What I loved about this is that you can totally jazz this up with whatever flavours you want. I'll be making this again with some different fruits and nuts - loved it! Have fun in Las Vegas!

Sis. Boom. said...

Hey Dorista!!! I loved this dish. Yours looks so fancy plated with the scoop! I will be making this one a lot this spring for sure.

Allison said...

Have fun in Vegas! I love how you plated the salad in scoops. I tried that for photos but it just wouldn't play for me. Glad it did for you!

chefpandita.com said...

Lovely photos, Steph! Have fun in Vegas :)

Cher said...

Ooohh. Vegas sounds fun. Enjoy - you've been working hard!

This definitely was better on day two. I love how you presented this! So pretty.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Beautiful photos - love that pink charger! :) Hope you and your sister have fun in Vegas!!

tricia s. said...

Loved your comment about "that's good because you are having it for lunch tomorrow" !! Keeping it real. Was also chuckling about your references to degrees and age. I am with you on that one as well. Each of your photos was stunning. The one with the pink bandana (charger or placemat ??) with a pink spoon - oh my. Simply lovely. Enjoy your weekend in Vegas !

yummychunklet said...

Your dish looks great! A perfect healthy meal before decadence in Vegas! Have fun!

Susan said...

Lovely plating, Steph! Have fun in Vagas!

Kathy said...

Great photos! Beautiful plating! I also loved the pink charger with the white dish! Enjoy your Vegas week-end!!

Mary said...

I am so jealous that you have fresh herbs inside...I can't wait till it is warmer so I can grow fresh herbs too.

Adriana said...

What a great idea for a place to grow herbs year-round!

Candy (Dulce) said...

I agree, this could have used a bit more flavor. Next time? Your photos are beautiful, and as usual, so impressed that you're able to do everything you do!!

Anne Marie said...

Your photos are extra lovely this week, Steph! Have a great time in Vegas. Remember, what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas...unless you want to blog about it and then I'm all ears!

Elaine said...

Your photos are beautiful! I love that pink charger with the white plate and I love your bathroom greenhouse herb garden! I also like your addition of figs in the salad as well. Great post!

Betsy said...

How funny that you're growing herbs in your bathroom window! I'm growing lettuce in my bedroom window, though you are in California and I'm in Massachusetts, so I don't have an outside option quite yet...
I love the way your served the quinoa in little balls. Looks pretty. This is a great recipe for the months ahead.

Lana said...

I love the photo with the purple background - it complements the colors in quinoa and makes the dish pop.
I have bee enjoying our little burst of summer, spending as much time as I could outside, like a lizard:)
I don't have to tell you to have fun in Vegas, especially at your sister's wedding. Enjoy!

Ms. Hobby said...

Your quinoa salad looks like a nice, healthy meal before a trip to Vegas. Hope you had a great trip!

Frolicking Night Owl said...

nice presentation and photos!

Candy Girl said...

Love you photos - especially the one with the pink plate!

Paula said...

what an awesome blog! I can`t wait to see your future posts! :)

have a great time,
Paula

luciacara said...

Your photos are outstanding - I love the colors!

BTW, I hope you like the broccoli dish when you get around to it.