The directions for cooking quinoa can and should be adapted if your package of quinoa has different cooking instructions. The point is really to use half vegetable broth and half water, which is how I like to cook a lot of grains—enough broth to add flavor to the grains, but not so much that the flavor of the grains is masked. It’s one of my favorite little kitchen tricks.
I’ve used dried apricots and dried pears in this salad, but you can use any small or chopped dried fruit as you like. Dried pears are a fun change of pace, and I like to combine them, thinly sliced, with thinly sliced fresh pears in a green salad as well.
And now for the ways you can play with this salad (and you’ll surely come up with your own): use other cooked grains, use spinach or other chopped greens instead of the kale (nothing too tough or fibrous, since you will be eating them just wilted), use your favorite vinaigrette in place of this one—or swap out the honey for maple syrup or agave.
Use diced red onions instead of the scallions. Add diced chicken or shrimp (and once it’s not vegetarian you can also use chicken broth instead of vegetable). Switch the type of vinegar. Add other vegetables, cooked or raw, cut into small pieces.
Kale Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lemon and Dijon Dressing
For the Quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- 4 cups baby kale roughly chopped (remove tough ribs first)
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Juice and finely grated zest of one lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Salad
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots or dried pears
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- ¾ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Bring 1 cup of water and the vegetable broth to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add ½ teaspoon salt and stir in the quinoa. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Stir in the kale, which will wilt from the heat of the quinoa. Turn the mixture into a shallow serving bowl and let cool.
- Meanwhile make the dressing. In a small container combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Shake to combine.
- When the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, Pour over the dressing and toss to combine well. Add the apricots, scallions, oregano and goat cheese, and toss again to combine. Serve at room temperature.
Make AheadThis can be made up to 2 days ahead, and kept well covered in the fridge. In a perfect world, make the kale quinoa mixture, the dressing, and prepare the rest of the salad ingredients, and then toss all together just before serving.
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