Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pears, Feta, and Watercress

quinoa saladSalads can be bland...but not this one! This unique salad combines the protein power of quinoa with roasted high-fiber fruit. Unbelievably delicious, this salad is aromatic and balanced with hints of sweetness and savory herbs. The quinoa helps you feel satiated to stave off hunger and the high-fiber content helps balance blood sugar levels.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, lightly toasted in a skillet over medium heat (about 5 minutes) and coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz watercress, rinsed and dried
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the pear with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and a few turns from your pepper mill. Roast for 35 minutes, turning about halfway through the cooking time. Add fresh thyme and roast for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium/medium-low heat. Add shallots and garlic. Saute for about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring often, until shallots are softening and garlic is fragrant (add a tablespoon or so of water if it begins to stick).
  3. Add quinoa, 1 tbsp of the minced fresh thyme, and big pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Saute for another 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add stock, turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately turn heat to low, cover saucepan, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid still on for 5-10 minutes. Uncover, fluff gently with a fork and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cooked quinoa, pear, parsley, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, pistachios, watercress, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and black pepper. Add crumbled feta and toss gently. Serve and enjoy! Serves 4.

 

 

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