This is a delightful summer salad. To be honest we eat this one all year round. In the winter substitute dried apricots for nectarines. Quinoa is by far one of my favourite grains. It is packed with nutrients and it is a complete protein which makes it a genius staple for vegans and vegetarians alike. The trick to quinoa is to rinse it well before cooking. This will make it less bitter. Add a little oil to a pot and add the quinoa. Stirring frequently, lightly toast the grains until you get a nutty aroma, approximately 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and cover. Allow to cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Quinoa cooks very much like rice other than the toasting step and substitutes great for a starch at dinner.
Allow the quinoa to cool while you prep the remainder of the ingredient and salad dressing. Once the grains have cooled to room temperature, toss the herbs, nuts and fruit into the quinoa. Mix all salad dressing ingredients together and mix well until the honey has completely dissolved. Mix the dressing into the salad and serve cold or at room temperature. This salad is great as a meal or as an accompaniment to chicken or fish. This also makes a lovely dish to bring to a barbeque.
11/2 cups quinoa (rinsed, toasted and cooked like rice with 3 cups of water)
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 green onions thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup of slivered almonds
1/3 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds
2 ripes apricots diced
1/3 cup raisins or cranberries
½ tsp salt