Quinoa Salad w/ Cherries, Pistachios & Watercress

It's finally cherry season. The only fruit I really love.

If you know me, I will always say no thank you to fruit. I just don't love it or eat it. A ripe Jersey peach in summer is heavenly, but I would always rather eat my veggies (or figs).

However......cherries in season, are a different story. Sweet, succulent and delicious. The only bad thing about them is that you have to pit them and remove the stems. Red stain everywhere. Beautiful.

Probably my 2 favorite recipes with cherries are that amazing cherry lambic crisp I made last summer, and the cherry almond cake.

This year, I decided not to make my annual chutney with the batch of cherries, but to do some other fun stuff with them (stay tuned).
This salad is one of them. I bookmarked it months ago, waiting for the first ripe cherry to fall from the tree.

The original recipe calls for red or black quinoa, which isn't easy to find, but I found a beautiful multi-color mix at Trader Joe's.

It's healthy and beautiful, which we all aspire to be.


Quinoa Salad w/ Cherries, Pistachios and Cress (adapted from Running w/ Tweezers):

1 cup dried black quinoa – rinsed and well-drained
2 cups water or lightly flavored vegetable stock
1 cup pitted cherries, cut in half or quartered
1/3 cup chopped roasted & salted pistachios
big handful of fresh chives, snipped
2 cups red watercress – washed, dried and tougher stems removed (optional)
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. honey
kosher or sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring the water or stock to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender but not mushy, about 12-15 minutes. The little curly q's will start to open on the grain. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Fluff with a fork to break up the grains.

Mix the cooked quinoa with the pistachios and cherries in a salad bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and mix to coat completely. Portion out onto plates and top with handful of the watercress leaves.

Serve at room temperature.


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Anonymous said…
Pineapple, watermelon, blue & raspberries, ruby red grapefruit, Winesap apples, cantaloupe & honeydew, tangy Anjou pears, Cara Cara oranges - none of these call your name? Well, I heart cherries too, and should eat more veggies - I love them, but tend more towards fruit, no prep necessary. Your salad is lovely.
Joanne said…
I feel the EXACT same way about cherries! I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a fruit lover through and through...but I adore cherries. I may or may not have paid an absurd amount of money for a bag of them at whole foods a few weeks ago. They were glorious. Thankfully the price has gone down substantially since then because I need to make this!
Oui, Chef said…
I am such a fan of quinoa and cherries, but can't often find cress. perhaps I'll make this with some baby arugula instead.
Anonymous said…
Just cooked up a big delicious mess o'israeli couscous, currants & fresh SPINACH - thanks for keeping me honest with the veggies Ms. Snacks!