Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple and Dried Cranberries
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 1/2 cups water, for quinoa
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, de-skinned and chopped
- 1 bunch (about 5 to 6) green onions, chopped (green parts only)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped * see note
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, thoroughly rinsed and chopped
- 1 gala apple (really, any kind of apple will do)
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- Generous drizzle of any kind of oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 325F and toast your hazelnuts for about 7-10 minutes. Let them cool completely. You should begin to hear their skins crackle while cooling; this is a good sign!
Meanwhile, cook your quinoa. Importantly, rinse it well! Boil the water with a pinch of salt, and add your rinsed quinoa. Turn your stove down to medium-low and let it cook for roughly 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and let it cool in the fridge.
Going back to the cooled, toasted hazelnuts; remove the skins. Chop the hazelnuts up, leaving them in large pieces.
Preheat a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil and soften your finely chopped onion and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Try not to brown them, 5 to 7 minutes on medium – low heat should do the trick. Set aside in a large salad bowl.
Rinse your parsley well and chop it finely followed by your dried cranberries and green onions. Add all this to the onion and celery mixture.
Core and dice the apple, put your apple chunks in the bowl with the other ingredients. Squeeze the entire lemon over the apple to season the salad and prevent the apple from turning brown.
Add your quinoa and hazelnuts to the mixture, drizzle with the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Season with more lemon juice if you like.
Mix well and cool completely. Allow the flavors to meld for 20 minutes before serving!
*I recommend using good quality dried cranberries. Craisins work but they tend to turn the salad a pinkish hue after a few hours, and I find they’re too sweet.