Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 8, 2011: Quinoa avocado salad

Craig and Bec decided to ring in the new year with a little BYO dinner party at their place. I hummed and hawed about what to contribute, before Cindy lost patience and sent me a handful of links to delicious gluten-free vegan savoury treats for inspiration. I settled on this salad from Emily at Sugarspoons. It really lived up to its promise - an array of textures (tender soaked raisins, crunchy almonds, creamy avo), flavours (sweet, citrusy, nutty) and heartiness up the wazoo. The combination of citrus and spices in the dressing was a particularly impressive component, but this whole meal was a treat - loved by all who tasted it. It had a very Ottolenghi vibe - a hearty grain-based salad that didn't scrimp on the flavour while being healthy and filling.

Quinoa avocado salad 
(from Sugarspoons, via Fine Cooking)

3/4 cup raisins
1 cup red quinoa
2 lemons
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground corainder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 avocados pitted, peeled, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Soak the raisins in a bowl of warm water for five minutes, until they're all soft and puffy.

Heat a saucepan and toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes, then remove from the heat.

In the same saucepan, cook the quinoa according to the instructions (should take about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemons, and then whisk in olive oil, spices and a sprinkle of salt.

Smash the almonds in a mortar and pestle until they're crumbled into little pieces (but not powdered).

Combine the quinoa, vinaigrette, avocado, coriander, almonds and sesame seeds in a large bowl and gently stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Oh-ho, brilliant! I have avocado on hand for the first time in, well... I used to hate avocados, so a really long time. Might switch the raisins for dried apricots or craisins, but apart from that this looks magnificent!

  2. Thanks for this recipe. I just made this today with a few adjustments back to the old recipe (less raisins, added dried apricots) and other tweaks (decreased amount of quinoa, added beans and couple of cut up chickpea cutlets). We had it for a late lunch and both thought the flavours were delicious, my boyfriend didn't seem to miss the meat for once :).

  3. I think I am in love with this so simple quinoa salad. so making this...

  4. I made this tonight & it was delicious!!!

  5. Su and Vicki - great to know that you've tried this for yourselves already!

    Hannah and Penny, you heard 'em - get onto it. ;-)

  6. Oh my gosh! This quinoa recipe looks really yummy! I'm excited in trying out this recipe. I love quinoa and I'm sure that Quinoa Avocado Salad will be delicious! Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe. :)