In all honesty, I wasn't all that excited about this recipe. While I'm a huge lover of nuts, I'm not all that keen on dried fruits and I'd never cooked (or eaten) quinoa before. However as I've said before, being in the French Fridays With Dorie cooking group has made me step out of my 'comfort zone' box a little and made me make things I would have ordinarily passed right on by. Most things I've totally loved. Unfortunately, to me, this wasn't quite one of them but in all fairness, my husband said the taste "grew on him, the more he ate". Talk about a trooper :)
I rinsed the quinoa very well before cooking it, as the package (and Dorie) indicated. The texture of the grain was very intriguing to me. It reminded me a lot of bird seed and to tell the truth, I really just wanted to dump it in a big bowl and play with it for a while like a kid in a sand box. Weird, I know :)
Another thing I noticed, is while is was simmering on the stove, I was enthralled with watching it. Because each grain is so small and light, it was like tiny little volcano's erupting with each bubble in the pot. I was mesmerized. Weird again, right?
Here is my third bit of weirdness regarding quinoa: Upon opening the package, I instantly thought to myself that it's smell was reminiscent of something familiar, but I could not quite place my finger on it. It was driving me crazy as I tried to determine what it reminded me of. As it cooked and then as it cooled and I was finally able to taste it, I had my light bulb moment...cooked asparagus! Yep, told you I was weird, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it :) Well, enough about my quinoa experience... back to the recipe:
My dried fruit: apricots, mango's, plums, pears and whatever else was in that bag I bought. I made sure to look for ones without added sugar.
And my nuts: chopped almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds, which I roasted in the oven before adding them to the dish for a little extra nutty flavor.
And my salad of baby greens. I love a good salad!
With the addition of the fruit and nuts to the quinoa and then topped with a lemon, ginger and olive oil dressing, you then top the salad with the quinoa mixture and a dollop of yogurt and a bit of fresh herbs. I used one of my favorites (cilantro) in keeping with the clean, bright flavors of the other ingredients in this dish. Put them all together on a plate and this is what mine looked like:
What I did find out, was that I DO like the taste of quinoa and I will make it again. What I probably won't do is mix it with dried fruit and top it with yogurt (but that's just me). What you really need to do is go to page 138 of "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan and try this recipe for yourself. Once you do, I'd love to know what the smell of quinoa reminds YOU of? I'm dying to know :)
If your interested in seeing the rest of the groups completed dishes and their thoughts (and you know you are) check them out here. I can't wait to see and read them myself !!!
Bye for now. Please come again as I always love it when you visit :)
Labels: apricots, dried fruit, FFWD, food blog, Let's Eat, mangos, pears, plums, quinoa, salad, side dish