Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Pears, Walnuts, Dried Fruits, and Jack Cheese
Quinoa is getting more and more popular, it has a very unique and delicious taste, also it is high in fibre and protein. In this recipe, we use fresh pears, arugula, lightly toasted walnuts and dried fruits, mixing in some Jack cheese. It can be served as a side dish, but it also can be a delicious and nutritious main dish!
red or yellow
or as needed
quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
pepper jack cheese
finely diced, 4 ounces, or monterey jack cheese
ripe and firm, dice into 1/2-inch cube
coarsely chopped, toasted
freshly ground, to taste
trimmed and thinly sliced, 4 ounces
olive oil, extra-virgin
In a bowl, rinse the quinoa with water, rubbing it between your fingers for 15 to 20 seconds.
Drain in a sieve and transfer to a big pot.
Pour 2½ cups water and add salt to taste, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium low or low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender but still delicately crunchy, 14 to 16 minutes.
Drain the quinoa if needed and bring it back to the pot.
Cover and allow the quinoa to rest for another 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
While the quinoa cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Stir in the onion and add some salt to taste, cook, stirring often, until tender and brown around the edges, about 7 minutes.
Pour in the balsamic vinegar and toss with the onions until the vinegar evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Add the quinoa, onions, cheese, celery, pears, walnuts, fennel, and dried cranberries or cherries in a large bowl, and stir until well mixed.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the sherry vinegar, salt and black pepper to tase in a small bowl, and whisk until well blended.
Gently toss the salad with dressing until well mixed.
Allow to rest for a few minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
Place arugula equally in the serving plates, divide the quinoa salad into equal portion among each plate.
It makes 12 side dish servings or 6 main dish servings.
Drizzle with extra olive oil if needed.