Fast and Frugal: Broccoli-Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Broccoli-Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

I love raw broccoli salads, with or without broccoli's frequent partner, cauliflower. I make one version with cheddar, black olives and cashews, and another with carrots, raisins and walnuts.

Eating raw vegetables makes me feel virtuous and it makes me feel better. As the weather warms up - if it does this year - I am less inclined to cook anything, unless I'm trying to use up last season's freezer contents.

Surveying the contents of my cupboards on a recent weekday, I noticed the remains of a bag of dried cranberries and a bag of quinoa. Thus the idea of a broccoli quinoa salad was born.

There is a plethora of similar recipes on the Internet. I like mine because it makes use of leftovers from other recipes and one item that's always in my crisper: fresh broccoli.

I felt this salad called for a sweet dressing, so I cobbled one together. It's similar to the typical broccoli-cauliflower-red-onion dressing, which usually calls for cider vinegar, a bit sweeter. You can adjust the measurements to your palate.

Broccoli-Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red cipollini onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Penzeys Rocky Mountain Seasoning*
  • dash sea salt and pepper

For the dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • dash of brown sugar, if needed

Prepare quinoa according to directions and allow to chill. in a covered bowl Chop broccoli, cranberries, onions and walnuts and toss into chilled quinoa. Add seasoning and salt and pepper. Return to refrigerator to chill.

Using a whip, blend dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a spout. Before serving, add to salad.

The salad may be assembled several hours before serving. Dressing is best served fresh; salad will become watery if stored with dressing.

Other additions to this salad include: Bacon bits, blue cheese, and fresh apple pieces. Roasted almonds make a good replacement for walnuts; pecans work, too.

It's been two weeks since I've personally shopped for groceries, although my husband makes frequent runs to the market. "Shopping your pantry," as the expression goes, does not have to mean tasteless, boring meals.

*Rocky Mountain Seasoning: Bell peppers, Parmesan cheese, salt, sesame, poppy, shallots, arrowroot, and white pepper.


~~louise~~ said…
Hi M.D!
Thank you so much for visiting my post about Janet Mckenzie Hill. I wasn't aware there was a paper back edition of Cooking For Two. Good to know:)

I too am interested in culinary history. I try to present it in a "digestible" way on my blog in order to entice others into thinking about how our culinary roots have evolved.

Now take your Quinoa Salad for instance. Although around since the beginning of time, pretty much, I think it is amazing that we have rediscovered it for modern times. Just look at this delicious salad you have created. I would love to have just an itty bitty taste:) Thank you so much for sharing, M.D...I will be sure to visit again:) Off to see if you are on Pinterest as I will be pinning this to my Quinoa board:)
Unknown said…
I am on Pintarest, Louise, but by now you have found me. Probably. FKIA Mimi.

I am going to do a recipe or two from the cookbook and then link to your site, but possibly not until April.

Also going to add you to my blog links.
Goody said…
As someone who has been enjoying your blog for good long while now, I must say it is a real treat to rediscover the older posts, and find new recipes and stories as well.

I must be the dullest person in the world as I've yet to try quinoa. I mean, I've read enough about it, just never felt inspired to try it until now. I too like the idea of raw salads.

Anyway, thank you for all the work you've put into this blog over the years. Your motivation for writing it may have changed, but it is still your voice, your wonderful insights, and interesting cookery perspective.
Unknown said…
Goody, I cannot tell you how much your kind words mean to me.

I was very close to shutting the blog down six months ago, and your post makes me very glad I did not.

I bought my first package of quinoa about 18 months ago. It's a bit like couscous, just not as heavy.

Thank you so very much for the post and for your kind words.

~~louise~~ said…
Hi Mimi,
I have found you on Pinterest and I am so glad. I'm also so happy you didn't stop blogging. You have a delicious blog. You are welcome to stop by my blog any time you like and meet the terrific visitors. They would LOVE your blog too. I am going to add your link to my sidebar. It is so nice "meeting" you:)
Unknown said…
Thank you, Louise. I'm glad to find a source for information on food culture and history. You will be a regular stop for me.
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