Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lemon Cumin Quinoa with Avocado, Raisins, and Apricots

As you may have noticed I have a slight obsession with these type of salads.  There’s just something about the combo of a simple vinaigrette combined with various vegetables or fruits, and a healthy starch.  I love to explore different combos.  I’ve already preached my love for quinoa, and with something as healthy and delicious as quinoa, I think it’s something everyone should try.  This was a great recipe to introduce quinoa to people who hadn’t tried it.

I was surprised at how well the flavors complimented each other.  The coriander, cumin, and paprika all combine really well with the lemon zest and juice.  Not one spice flavor is over-powering.  The dried raisins (or currants, like I used) and dried apricots add a touch of sweetness.  Don’t skip the avocado!  It really brings it together.  Even The Boy who is not a fan of avocado really enjoyed this salad.  I’ve made this a few times, and I’ve already got plans to make it again!  Make it for your next cookout as a super healthy side.


Lemon Cumin Quinoa with Avocado, Raisins, and Apricots


3 Tbs. raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden), or currants
2 Tbs. dried apricots, thinly sliced
1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well
Kosher salt
1 large lemon
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 medium firm-ripe avocado (6 to 7 oz.), pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (I omitted)
2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds (I used sliced almonds)
Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (The outer germ rings of the grain will remain chewy and white. Some germ rings may separate from the grain and will look like white squiggles.) Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 1 Tbs. juice. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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11 Responses to “Lemon Cumin Quinoa with Avocado, Raisins, and Apricots”

  1. 1
    federica — March 29, 2010 @ 5:54 am

    mmmmmmmmmmm…che buono!!! ciao!

  2. 2
    Maria — March 29, 2010 @ 10:04 am

    Perfect dish for spring!

  3. 3
    julia — March 29, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    This looks delicious and refreshing! A perfect spring and summer dish.

  4. 4
    Brit — March 29, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    That sounds awesome! I bought three boxes of quinoa over the weekend and I have been searching for new and different things to do with it. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  5. 5
    Lauren — March 31, 2010 @ 7:05 am

    What a fantastic combination of healthy & tasty ingredients!

  6. 6
    Lesley — April 2, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read this since I saw it pop up the other day. So glad you posted–I’ve got some quinoa on the way from Rancho Gordo and, frankly, the stuff can be bland if not prepared the right way. I’ll try this!

  7. 7
    Lindsay — April 10, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    Just found your blog via BethEats! This recipe looks FABULOUS, and I plan on trying it soon! I live in Nashville and plan on trying Bravo Gelato soon! (Maybe today!) 🙂

  8. 8
    Courtney — May 11, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    OMG. I just made this —— SOOOOO GOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will have it for lunch tomorrow too!

  9. 9
    Andres — June 10, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    Made this last night. It was AMAZING! Served alongside some pan-seared sockeye salmon, and roasted broccoli for a delicious, healthy meal, sure to impress anyone!

  10. Pingback: lemon cumin quinoa with avocado raisins and apricots. « table for one nyc

  11. Pingback: Lemon Couscous with Avocado, Currants, and Almonds | cinnamon freud

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