Quinoa Salad Recipe with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas in a Maple Vinaigrette
First you'll need to make the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
Quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin. If you are buying quinoa in bulk, you will need to soak it for a few minutes and then rinse it in cold clear water until the “soapy” residue is gone. Some boxed brands may be pre-rinsed, but they still retain the nutritional goodness.
Place the quinoa in a saucepan. Add 2 cups fresh water and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.
For the salad you'll need:
2 good handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.
Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.
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