Monday, September 21, 2015

Royal Quinoa with Dried Cranberries, Olives & Orange

Inspired by my dear friend Manita's fabulous Quinoa Salad Citrus Vinaigrette that I enjoyed with her the last time we saw one another in Miami, I created this simple and delicious Summer Quinoa using red and white 'Royal Quinoa' with diced pitted sun-dried olives, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, diced cucumber and oranges. Garnished with oodles of orange zest, drizzled with Manita's Citrus Vinaigrette and garnished with fresh mint, this is a low fat, heart smart gluten-friendly dish tastes great without feeling too naughty.

Quinoa with Dried Cranberries, Olives, Almonds & Citrus Vinaigrette
Serves 12

2 cups organic red and white Quinoa 
3 cups water

Citrus vinaigrette:
3 oranges, juiced
3 orange, zested
2 oranges, segments only, diced with pith removed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup diced english cucumber 
4 shallots, peeled and minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Maldon salt and black pepper to tate
1 cup black sun-dried olives, pitted and quartered
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup slivered almonds
Fresh mint, for garnish

Put the quinoa in a large pan. Pour in 3 cups of cold water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10–12 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is transparent. Drain and leave to cool. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the oil, shallots, citrus juices and zest of one orange. Combine the cooked Quinoa with half of the vinaigrette and mix thoroughly. Then add the olives, orange segments, olives, dried cranberries, remainder of the orange zest and cucumber. Check the seasoning and adjust according to taste. When ready to serve, add the almonds and orange segments and spoon into a large serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining orange zest and drizzle any additional dressing over the quinoa salad before serving with a garnish of fresh mint.