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Cherry, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad
“This whole-grain wild rice and quinoa salad recipe is perfect for toting to summer potlucks. It features sweet cherries, crunchy celery, nutty aged goat cheese and toasted pecans. If you can find red quinoa, it's particularly pretty.”
¾ cup wild rice
½ cup quinoa (see Tips), rinsed if necessary
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fruity vinegar, such as raspberry or pomegranate
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups halved pitted fresh sweet cherries (see Tips)
2 stalks celery, diced
¾ cup diced aged goat cheese, smoked Cheddar or other smoked cheese
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (see Tips)
1Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add wild rice and cook for 30 minutes. Add quinoa and cook until the rice and quinoa are tender, about 15 minutes more. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch; drain well.
2Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the rice and quinoa, cherries, celery, cheese and pecans and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Tips: Although quinoa—a grain that was a staple in the ancient Incas' diet—was once only found in natural-foods stores, it's now readily available at most large supermarkets and even warehouse stores. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Most quinoa is sold already rinsed; check the label.
To pit fresh cherries, use a tool made for the job—a hand-held cherry pitter; it also works for olives! Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler.
Toast chopped or sliced nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.