Quinoa with Apricot Almonds and Asparagus
I just realized this great quinoa salad is filled with “A” ingredients: asparagus, almonds, and apricots! I made a massive batch of this quinoa salad last week so we’d have enough leftover to come home to after a weekend away. We spent the weekend on a beautiful lake in Michigan for our friends’ wedding and I knew I’d want something to come home to for dinner after a long day of traveling. I didn’t do exact measurements, but that’s the beauty of this salad: you can make simple tweaks to make it your own. Here’s an approximate of what I used:
1 box of quinoa, rinsed and cooked in the rice cooker (it was about 5 cups once cooked)
1 bunch of asparagus spears, cut into bite-sized pieces
about 2 cups of dried apricots, cut into small bits
1 bag (about a cup and a half) of sliced almonds
about a cup of mango vinegar
about 1/3 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
My sister brought me back a bottle of mango vinegar from France when she was there over the winter and I’ve been wondering what to do with it ever since. Then it hit me when I knew I wanted to make a cold quinoa salad with a fruity flavor! Unless I have French readers (bonjour!) or you happen to have mango vinegar lying around your kitchen, you can swap it with another fruity vinegar like pear or pineapple, which I see pretty commonly in specialty or health food stores. Or, you could even give some orange juice a go, though I can’t vouch for how great it’ll taste…I assume good.
I cooked the quinoa in the rice cooker then cooled it in the fridge overnight. Into the quinoa I mixed the almonds, chopped apricots, and cut asparagus which I nuked in the microwave for 1:30 minutes just to soften it up a bit. I then poured on the vinegar and olive oil, and threw on a few pinches of salt and pepper, then mixed til it was all combined. Voila! I love whole grain salads with a little chew (apricots) and crunch (almonds). The sweet and savory mix with the slightly sour vinegar did a little dance on my tastebuds. It was a wonderful meal to come home to!