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Quinoa and Avocado Salad

This recipe was adapted from the Feb/Mar, 2010 issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. We had the magazine open in our store, because the issue included a nice article about avocados -- and they talk about Reed Avocaods (and mention us, by the way.) A customer requested we add this recipe to our website -- so that she may add it to her repertoire. I made a few minor changes.

3 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons dried apricots
1 cup red or golden quinoa - rinsed well
sea salt
1 large lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coriander - ground
1/4 teaspoon cumin - ground
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 medium avocados, or 1 large reed avocado - pitted, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium scallions - white and light green parts only - thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons toasted almonds - coarsely chopped
Freshly ground back 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 of water, the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to a boil over medium heat. Cover, and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender - 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

3. Finely zest the lemon, and then squeeze out 1 tablespoon of juice. In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of 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.

Serves 4