Friday, April 1, 2011

Quinoa, Fruit, & Nut Salad - French Fridays with Dorie

This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe can be found on page #138 of Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Around my French Table.  The quinoa, fruit, and nut salad is something that I would have never picked-out to try without a group like FFwD



When we were in the process of adopting our oldest daughter, "Penguin" from a Russian orphanage, we lived in the orphanage with her for a week or so while we waited for the court hearing and paperwork to come through so we can travel with her to Moscow and then back to the USA.  I do not have good memories of Russian food, esp the food we ate in the orphanage.  We paid for our meals there, but I think they still fed us what the kids in that home ate.  On numerous occasions, they placed a bowl of some kind of boiled grain in front of us ... no syrup, sugar, or anything to put on it except weird butter, salt & pepper ... certainly no nuts or fruits!!  No amount of salt could make that boiled grain taste good.  I think they were feeding us millet, but when I look at quinoa, those flavors, smells, and memories come rushing back to me.  FYI: If you want to lose a quick 5+ pounds, take a trip to Russia.

Back to the recipe ... I sent my husband to Wal-Mart late one night to get the ingredients that I needed to make this recipe.  He couldn't find quinoa anywhere and when he asked for assistance, the Wal-Mart workers were no help.  So I ended up getting my quinoa from a bin at a health-food-type-store a few nights later.  This recipe was very easy & quick to make.  I made mine with dried cranberries, almonds, & walnuts. I really liked the nuts with the quinoa. This recipe was good, but I can't say I loved it.  It's no Double-Chocolate Mousse Cake!!  And now after making it and trying all the flavors together, I think I'd prefer making some quinoa with some fruits and nuts and serving it as a breakfast food rather than in a salad.

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12 comments:

chefpandita.com said...

I love quinoa but this recipe wasn't great for me either. It did feel like something you'd eat for breakfast :)

yummychunklet said...

You know, eating this for breakfast isn't a bad idea, especially since my dish ended up on the sweeter side. Great post!

tricia s. said...

You captured the experience Nana and I had perfectly when you said you would not have tried this recipe were it not for FF's :) Nana may not revisit it but I did enjoy it (if not the aroma.....) and am very sold on how healthy it was. In fact it is pretty much a blank canvas and I plan to try using it as a side dish, main course and even breakfast. Now to find more recipes....

Kathy said...

Loved your post! Beautiful photo! My first encounter with quinoa was as a breakfast food. Cooked in milk with blueberries added at the end, and sprinkled with a little brown sugar! Delicious!

Tammy said...

Isn't it interesting how certain fragrances bring up memories for us? Fascinates me every time. I'm sorry you didn't like it, and maybe your memories had something to do with it, but I found it very refreshing. Perhaps a second go with some different fruits or herbs (or maybe even fresh fruit or veggies) might change your mind. Nice photos, by the way!

Candy (Dulce) said...

Great post. Amazing how a food can bring back such memories! Some good ideas - breakfast?

This wasn't my favorite at all, and I agree - no choclate cake. Good for you for trying it though!!

Sis. Boom. said...

I loved it but then I added salt and extra herbs. I"m going to have to try this breakfast idea...

Adriana said...

It's amazing how smells and tastes take us back down memory lane!

Kris' Kitchen said...

Nice photo...actually very nice phone... and I'm glad i got a little taste at your house. I'm going to make this...no time yet and probably not for a few days...after last nights giant dinner I still have a few days of dishes to wash and put away...but after the taste I will want to add way more goodies...like more kinds of nuts and, yes, I think for breakfast is a good idea. The grain needs more flavor...it is blah like rice and depends on everything else to jazz it up.

Cher said...

I think if you took out the viniagrette and added enough fruit & nuts, this would make a great breakfast! Sorry you were underwhelmed...

Steph said...

How interesting the memories this brought up for you. Perhaps it was doomed from the start to not be a favorite. So glad you were able to save Penguin from the horrors of Russian cuisine!

Mike and Madelyn said...

Your food always looks so impressive and intimidating to me...but I have recently discovered quinoa (Costco sells it in a 4 lb bag) and I use it instead of rice sometimes--in burritos or with chicken and veggies. I might actually try using it on a salad or with fruit, looks yummy!

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