This delightful summer salad is perfect for when you don't want to cook an elaborate dinner. Ripe plums lend sweetness and bright color, and the zesty lemon-mint vinaigrette livens up peppery arugula. Thanks to the quinoa and almonds, it is a filling meal on its own. Feel free to substitute peaches or nectarines for the plums.
Arugula, Quinoa and Plum Salad
Makes two large portions or four side salad portions
3/4 cup red quinoa
4 cups arugula
2 to 3 ripe, tart plums
2 ounces goat cheese (about 1/3 cup crumbled)
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon honey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the quinoa: first rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. Then transfer it to a pot and add 1 1/2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer. Cook until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed most of the water, about 17 minutes.
In the meantime, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, mint, honey and a dash of salt and pepper until emulsified.
Once the quinoa is cooked, drain off any excess water and let the quinoa cool for a few minutes. Toast the almonds in a small pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and turning golden. Pit and slice the plums into 6-8 slices each. In a serving bowl, toss the arugula with the quinoa, plums, crumbled goat cheese, almonds and vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Notes: It is best served immediately, although leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a day. This salad is gluten free.
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