Quinoa & Avocado Salad with Dried Fruits

Quinoa Quinoa Quinoa!  Fun to say isn't it?  KEEN-WAHH!!!

I've had my eye on this salad for a week now.  Doesn't it look good?  I saw it posted at the kitchn and immediately saved it under the MAKE SOON file in my brain.

I am sucker for all things lemony so this lemon-cumin vinaigrette was a nice treat!  The fruit and the almonds kick some serious ass too!

And let's direct our attention now to the star of this salad- the AVOCADO!

Did you think I was gonna say the quinoa?  That's still a star, but the avocado is what MAKES the dish.

It's the *you had me at hello* part.

It's what enticed me to try it in the first place!

It's soo much fun when you get a crunchy almond and some sweet fruit in a bite.

You just never know what each bite will bring, and I love that.

Get started by chopping up your dried fruits...


Take them to the spa and let them soak in a nice hot water bath...

dried fruits taking a bath

You get your quinoa ready by rinsing it off....

rinsing quinoa

After you let it simmer on the stove, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool.

cooling of the quinoa

While it cools, start with your dressing-

cumin corriander paprika

Gather all your ingredients together to be assembled.

ingredient party

Here's all the fun stuff! Nuts, fruits, green onions!

trifecta of YUM

Pour the dressing over everything in a nice big bowl.

dressing pour

Add in your avocado and mix well!

quinoa avocado salad

You know what you have? A tasty bowl full of health!

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Almonds & Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

(recipe found here Finecooking.com)

  • 3 Tbs. raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden)
  • 2 Tbs. dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados (6 to 7 oz. each), pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1 . In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2.  In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (The outer germ rings of the grain will remain chewy and white. Some germ rings may separate from the grain and will look like white squiggles.) Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

3.  Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 1 Tbs. juice (I used the entire lemon). In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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  • January 21, 2010

    WOW....I too am a sucker for anything lemony. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  • January 21, 2010

    I think my last meal would contain massive amounts of avocado. it's damn delicious. And quinoa is an interesting grain since it's so small and has a little bite. Great for a summer salad, when you are poolside.

  • January 21, 2010

    What an interesting combination! I would never have thought to include dried fruit in that group. I'm sure that sweet bite is delicious. Love the red quinoa!

  • January 21, 2010

    Delicious! I <3 quinoa!....and...um...yeah...avocado :D Looks amazing.

  • January 23, 2010

    This looks incredible, especially with the avocado on top! I happen to have red "keen-wah" on hand, but I prefer to use my mother's perpetual mispronunciation "quinn-wa".

  • Amelia
    January 24, 2010

    ooooooooooh this looks so tasty mmmmmmmmm

  • January 25, 2010

    Oh yum! I am always on the lookout for a good quinoa recipe! And you're so right. It would sound totally mundane if not for the avocado. I've added it to my own must make soon mental list! Hehe. Thanks!

  • January 25, 2010

    I am happy to report that it's even BETTER the second day. I wish I had more left.

  • Andrea
    February 10, 2010

    I'm gonna give it a go.. a bit frightened by the dried fruit but my love of quinoa and lemon will prolly win out!

  • February 15, 2010

    This is so good - I substituted dried cranberries for the apricots & raisins.

    • February 15, 2010

      I made some with cranberries last week too because we were out of apricots! It is pretty good! Thanks for trying the recipe :) I am glad you liked it Sarah. And congrats on the new addition to your household. You have a beautiful boy!

  • February 24, 2010

    oh, wow! that does look delicious!

  • March 23, 2010

    Just wanted to say I tried this last night, and it was amazing! I had some friends over for dinner, and one was a vegetarian, so I served this as a side/main alternate, and everyone LOVED it. I got a ton of compliments. :) Thanks sooooo much for sharing this!

  • January 12, 2011

    i want to eat this! not a huge fan of all the dried fruits but i'll give it a go! quinoa and avocado wins me over every time.

  • January 12, 2011

    Sounds like something I need to try soon. I've really looked for different kind of veggie dishes to take to work for lunch, and this looks perfect. Hope 2011 has started well for you! x

  • Lindsay
    March 14, 2011

    I'm totally trying this this week with fresh pineapple. Fingers crossed it's a good improvisation!

    • March 14, 2011

      I bet that would be great! Especially with the cumin dressing! Lemme know how it goes.

  • Kris
    June 20, 2011

    I just made this and it's awesome! It'll be my lunch for the next two days. :)

  • February 2, 2012

    I have made this a few times now and it's AMAZING! I recently made some and packed it as part of my "travel cooler" when I fly all day and don't want to eat crap airline/airport food. For that, I just left out the avocados and it was perfect. Thanks! :)

  • Nancy
    December 31, 2013

    Have made this several times now. I double the dressing and use craisens instead of raisins. Also I use rainbow quinoa...a mix of red, white and black. Makes a beautiful and absolutely delicious salad.

  • Deryn
    January 4, 2014

    Can you tell me about how the avocado holds up over the course of several days? Is the vinaigrette able to preserve it from browning?

    • Tracy
      January 5, 2014

      It's preserves it slightly. I would add more avocado to freshen it up.

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