First you’ll need to make the quinoa:
- 1 cup organic quinoa
- Sea salt
Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.
For the salad you’ll need:
- 2 – 3 cups of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
- 1 large ripe pear, or apple washed, stemmed and cored, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained or a can of Lima beans drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- A handful of pecans, pine nuts or walnuts, pan toasted and salted to taste
- For additional crunch toast up a few croutons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.
Just before serving, add the toasted nuts and lightly combine.
Makes four main course servings, six side dish servings.
- If you are making this salad ahead of time, I suggest you make the Quinoa, then add the dressing while it is warm. When it cools to room temperature, add in the spinach, chick peas and parsley; toss, cover and chill. Before serving add the pears, and toasted pecans. Taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
- You might try a dab of Dijon mustard in the vinaigrette. Just don’t make it too strong- it may overpower the pears.
- If you prefer more dressing, or find that your quinoa and spinach needs a bit more dressing, double the vinaigrette recipe.