This spicy salad with little jewels of dried apricot in the mix would be welcome at lunch or a simple weekday dinner. You can prepare the salad and dressing ahead of time.
quinoa, (see Ingredient note)
extra-virgin olive oil
dried apricots, coarsely chopped
Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing, (recipe follows), divided
cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes, halved
small red onion, chopped
sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)
in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa
; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, make Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing. Transfer the quinoa
to a medium bowl and toss with 1/3 cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa
; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.
Ingredient note: Quinoa
is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting this grain before simmering enhances its flavor.
To toast nuts: Heat a small dry skillet
over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate the quinoa
and dressing separately for up to 2 days.
Calories 325, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 5 g, Sodium 214 mg, Carbohydrate 51 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 11 g, Potassium 957 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin A 120%, Vitamin C 50%, Iron 30%. Exchanges: Starch 2.5,Vegetable 2,Lean Meat 0.5,Fat 1.5.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet