A little sweet, a little tart and a then a little more sweet…this quinoa salad is a wonderful mix of flavors and sensations.
This harvest salad is a mix of apples, grapes, celery, almonds, raisins, mint and cinnamon tossed together with quinoa. It’s an absolute delicious fall salad and I know you’re going to love it!
And then if it couldn’t get any better, in comes the sweet tahini dressing!
Without the dressing this salad can stand alone, especially with the nice hint of cinnamon. But let me tell you, a good drizzle of this dressing adds whole new layer of yum factor. This is my first time having this sweet tahini dressing and I was amazed at how good it tasted. It’s a wonderful sweet creamy dressing that’s so easy to make. The sesame paste isn’t bitter here at all and mixes very well with sweetness. It would also make for a nice twist on the Waldorf Salad. Yes, more ways to use tahini! I am now officially addicted to this new find. I also found myself using it as a dip for sliced apples. So good! It has a unique flavor that I cannot explain, it is something you must experience for yourself if you haven’t already.
As for the salad, it can be made in one pot and uses common ingredients so you can whip this up anytime. You can also add/subtract ingredients to suit what you have on hand or to suit your taste. I love versatility and this salad allows for that. Put this one on your must try list. It’s a keeper!
Lot’s of flavor, texture and simple deliciousness in every bite. And, it’s 100% percent good for you!
APPLE HARVEST QUINOA SALAD + SWEET TAHINI DRESSING
- 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 2 large apples, cored and diced (1 green + 1 red, or 2 same color)
- 1 1/2 cups grapes, sliced in half
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- handful slivered or chopped almonds
- a few large mint leaves, julienned
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Sweet Tahini Dressing
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar, or to taste (optional)
Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. In a medium size pot, add water and quinoa, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cover and let set 15 minutes, fluff with a fork.
While quinoa is cooking, prepare your dressing by combining ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to let the flavors relax into each other. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin as needed. To thicken add more tahini. It should be thin enough to drizzle. Dressing serves four.
Core and dice apples, top with lemon juice and toss gently (I did this right on the cutting board to not dirty up another bowl). Prepare the remaining ingredients. Add the apples, grapes, celery, raisins, almonds, mint leaves and cinnamon to the quinoa, mix well. Taste for flavor adding more cinnamon if you like.
Spoon into serving dishes and serve with a good drizzle of the sweet tahini dressing.
Serves 4 – 6
I used 1 granny smith and 1 fuji apple. Feel free to use your favorite apples.
This recipe is just a template…feel free to sub in unsweetened cranberries for the raisins (I use raisins because they contain no added sugars and I can find organic ones easily). Opt to leave the celery or grapes out using just apples (or use any combo you like). Add in a grated carrot for more color. Add more cinnamon if you like. Try using pecans instead of almonds. Try serving with some leafy greens. Have fun playing around with this making it your own.
Store at room temperature if eating within a few hours or store in the refrigerator until ready.