Goat Cheese, Gouda and Walnut Quinoa Salad

gouda-quinoa-saladI was really excited to see a quinoa salad recipe in Fine Cooking magazine this month. Fine Cooking has long been my best source of gourmet recipes, and when I saw they were finally featuring a quinoa recipe, well, I kinda felt like we’d arrived. Quinoa is finally getting gourmet status!

The first time I made the recipe though, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. (Which almost never happens with Fine Cooking recipes.) In fact, I made it on the same day I made my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe for the boys and even my husband opted for the macaroni and cheese.

I guess that is good for you guys because it meant I had to get to work! I made some adjustments and I’m very happy with the resulting quinoa salad.

Although there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, this is a great one to used quinoa you’ve cooked previously. Just add in three cups of cooked quinoa.

Goat Cheese, Gouda and Walnut Quinoa Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz arugula and spinach blend (or just arugula), chopped
  • 4 oz aged Gouda, diced
  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped.
  • 1 Fuji apple diced
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar (the original called for sherry vinegar but I couldn’t find it)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp mineral sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan combine quinoa, broth and ½ tsp mineral sea salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer. Cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for another 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 T olive oil in skillet. Add chopped onion; cook and stir until onion is tender about eight minutes. (The onions should be brown) Add balsamic vinegar and stir until the vinegar cooks off, about another 60 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Mix quinoa, arugula or spinach, onions, cheeses, celery, apple, walnuts, fennel and cranberries in a large bowl.
  4. In a salad dressing mixer or blender, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add olive oil in a steady stream. Toss with quinoa mixture.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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