Quinoa with Fennel Walnuts and Apples
Quinoa is a staple in our kitchen year-round, but especially for the week of Passover. I’ll eat it as a hot cereal, or as the star ingredient for dinner. My mom asked me to bring a quinoa dish for her Passover Seder, so I googled around for a new recipe and came up with this one for inspiration. I wound up making a massive batch, so halve or quarter this recipe unless you want to eat it for the entire week of Passover.
3.5 cups quinoa, rinsed (I used tricolor quinoa)
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 cups dried cranberries
6 stalks of celery, diced
2 cups of walnut pieces
2 Fuji apples, diced
Cook quinoa according to package directions. I did this in advance in the rice cooker. Bring to room temperature or store in the fridge.
Spread fennel and onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the onions and fennel begin to brown. If you like the flavor of raw fennel and red onions, you can skip this step. I despise raw red onions but love them cooked, and know some people find the taste of fennel too strong, so I opted to cook them and let the flavors mellow out a bit. Meanwhile, dice the apple and pour on about a tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent browning.
In a large bowl, mix cranberries, celery, walnuts and apple in the quinoa. After the fennel and onions have cooked and cooled, add them to the quinoa mixture.
I didn’t measure the dressing – instead I just poured on a few glugs of olive oil and pear vinegar to taste, and seasoned with sea salt. If you don’t have pear vinegar, any sherry vinegar will do. Balsamic vinegar may also add a nice flavor. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight, and add a bit more dressing right before serving.
Funk and I also enjoyed this as part of our own mini Seder for 2 on Friday night. We paired it with some matzo ball soup, salmon, and asparagus.
Can you just take a look at this asparagus? Funk went to The Meat House to pick up the fish and veggies, and asked for “enough asparagus for two people.” They gave him 8 stalks. EIGHT STALKS! How on earth does that serve two whole grown-ups? I guess I shouldn’t expect a veggie overload from a place called “The MEAT House” but its a little unsettling to know we spent $3.25 for 8 stalks of asparagus. Ah well…it didn’t stop us from having a delicious dinner.