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.