Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Aunt Lauren's Fruit & Nut Quinoa

The basis for this recipe came from my Aunt Lauren, an inspiring, hilarious woman and fabulous cook, whom I very much admire. Her "non-recipe," as she called it, requires cooked quinoa, celery, dried apricots, a bit of sliced green onion all dressed with a vinaigrette of fresh lemon juice, a touch of olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, topped with a sprinkling of slivered almonds. Sounds good, right? I thought so too, especially after reading the final step: "Fight off the interlopers who want to eat your share!"

I've never tasted Lauren's original version, so this all a bit fly-by-night, but that's kind of my MO. So here it is:

2 cups cooked quinoa 
2 ribs celery, finely chopped to minced
about 10 dried apricots, finely chopped
2 tsp green onion, thinly sliced
slivered almonds, about 1/2 cup

about 2 tbsp olive oil
the juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tbsp
salt and pepper

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1 tbsp of the olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Gradually add more olive oil, to taste, to mitigate tartness.
2. In a large bowl, stir together quinoa, celery, apricots and green onion.
3. Add about half of the dressing, and toss. Gradually add dressing until it is dressed to your liking. (I had just a little left over, which would have been too much).

This was definitely tasty, and an incredibly easy, light summer dinner. It would be very easy to throw together if you had some cooked quinoa in the fridge, but I did not and it still took less than 30 minutes. The fresh, slightly tart dressing is just the thing to brighten up the quinoa and bring out the sweetness of the apricots. I think this would also be delicious with one of my personal faves, dried apples.

You should probably prepare for some interlopers.

Quote of the Day: Eating is really one of your indoor sports. You play three times a day, and it's well worth while to make the game as pleasant as possible. ~ Dorothy Draper

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