|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.