Sunday, March 20, 2022

Pear Quinoa Salad

My fresh tasting Pear Quinoa Salad is quick and easy to make.  It combines nutty flavored whole grain quinoa, sweet and light pears, and crunchy walnuts for an exceptional flavor combination. The perfect side dish for your menu!

Pear Quinoa Salad

I love a good side salad.  They are so versatile, I can serve them alongside a sandwich for Sunday lunch, or next to grilled chicken, fish or steak for dinner.  This salad features quinoa (a quick cooking whole grain that has a nutty flavor), red and green D'Anjou pears, chives for a little savory onion flavor, and walnuts for crunch. 

Easy and quick to pull together, this salad packs big flavors that shine in this light salad.  This salad is best when eaten at either room temperature or cold.  You will want to chill this for a good 15 min once it's pulled together to meld the flavors and cool down the quinoa.


What Ingredients do I need?

  • quinoa - multicolor or yellow
  • D'Anjou pears - red and green
  • chives
  • walnuts
  • walnut oil
  • pear vinegar

Substitutions and Variations

  • No walnut oil? use canola or grapeseed oil.
  • No pear vinegar, raspberry or pomegranate will work.  You want a fruity vinegar.
  • Use your favorite pear.
  • This would work well with Israeli couscous instead.
  • Switch up the herb with thyme, basil or even mint.

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Rinse the quinoa well in a mesh strainer to remove some of the natural bitter coating.
  • toast nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

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Other Salads you may like:

Pear Quinoa Salad

serves 6

1 3/4 cup water
1 cup quinoa (see Tips), rinsed if necessary
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon pear vinegar
¼ cup snipped fresh chives
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 ripe but firm D'Anjou pears, red and green, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Kitchen Tips and Notes)

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has popped, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, chives, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add pears and toss to coat.

Drain any excess liquid from the cooked quinoa.  Add the quinoa and walnuts to the bowl and toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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