Quinoa salad

The brilliant autumnal colors of orange persimmon and ruby-red pomegranate make this a perfect salad for the buffet table. Make sure to select a fuyu persimmon (it resembles a squat tomato) as it is slightly sweet and crisp. It’s best to add the dressing just before serving so that the flavors stay fresh. Quinoa, a healthful grain, is easy to cook and has a very pleasing texture. I like to serve this with cold roast chicken or turkey.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons pomegranate juice

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black

pepper

Salad

2 cups quinoa

4 cups water or chicken or vegetable broth

3 fuyu persimmons, peeled and finely diced

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1 1/4 cups crumbled feta or fresh goat cheese

Method

To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, pomegranate juice, and mustard. Add the olive oil, whisking until incorporated.

Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To make the salad: Pour the quinoa into a bowl of cold water and wash it, rubbing it between your hands. Drain and repeat until the water is clear. Bring the 4 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir once and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Let cool.

Add the persimmons and pomegranate seeds to the quinoa. Mix with a fork to keep the quinoa fluffy. Add the parsley and chives.

Pour the dressing over the grains and fruit and mix with the fork. Carefully add the feta cheese. Taste for seasoning and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve.

Party Prep

The salad may be prepared through step 3 up to 8 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Remove 15 minutes before serving. Just before serving add the dressing and cheese and mix together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

The Clever Cook Could:

Make this a year-round salad. Substitute white wine vinegar for the pomegranate juice. Omit the persimmmons and pomegranate seeds, and add to the quinoa 1/2 cup diced radishes, 1/2 cup diced European cucumber, 1 cup diced peeled carrrots, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint.

Recipe copyright Diane Rossen Worthington, courtesy of Chronicle Books

Photograph copyright Yvonne Duivenvoorde