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Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach
“This spicy salad with little jewels of dried apricot in the mix would be welcome for lunch or a simple weekday dinner. ”
Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
1½ teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing, divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, chopped
8 cups baby spinach
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
1To prepare dressing: Whisk lemon juice, yogurt, honey, cumin, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup oil so the dressing becomes smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
2To prepare salad: Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
3Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
4Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with ⅓ cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining ⅓ cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.
Make Ahead Tip: The recipe makes ⅔ cup dressing (Step 1). Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate the quinoa salad and remaining dressing separately for up to 2 days.