Warm quinoa salad with sour cherries and shiitakes

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 730 Calories/Serving

25 Minutes

Honey, walnuts, and dried sour cherries bring a bit of sweetness to this warm summer salad. Chef Justine keeps the flavors in balance with a dose of sherry vinegar, some salty ricotta salata, and spicy hit of cayenne.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 ounces dried sour cherries
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 ounces walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 5 ounces spinach
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata

Instructions

1

Cook the quinoa

Cook the quinoa Heat the oven to 350°F. In a 2-quart saucepot, combine the quinoa and half the dried cherries with 2 cups salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and translucent, about 20 minutes. While the quinoa cooks, prep the mushrooms and walnuts.

2

Roast the mushrooms; toast the walnuts

Trim and discard the stems from the shiitakes, toss caps with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. In a large mixing bowl, toss the walnuts with the honey, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon water. Season with salt and cayenne, if using. With a slotted spoon, transfer the walnuts to the baking sheet, letting any excess liquid drain back into the bowl. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the walnuts are toasted, about 15 minutes.

3

Make the dressing; toss the salad

Peel and mince the shallot. Add it to honey mixture in the bowl along with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach to the bowl and put the warm quinoa on top. Add the mushrooms, walnuts, and the remaining dried cherries. Crumble the ricotta salata on top and toss to combine.

4

Serve

Divide quinoa between two serving bowls and serve warm.

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