This past weekend my husband’s family celebrated their Thanksgiving. I’m lucky in the fact that I can usually experiment with some “unconventional” cuisine with his family. They aren’t picky eaters at all.
When I had to decide what to take, I knew I wanted to take some sort of dish that included arugula from the fall garden. It has been growing like crazy! I was originally thinking of arugula and Parmesan with pine nuts and maybe a light vinaigrette, but that seemed a little too simple to me so I went to the recipe search engine…Pinterest.
There I found a recipe for a quinoa and arugula salad, but I wasn’t super excited by some of the other ingredients…or lack of cheese. My spinach and tomato quinoa salad went over really well earlier this year, so I decided to sort of merge my idea of Parmesan and pine nuts with the idea of this found quinoa salad and voila! The arugula and Parmesan quinoa salad was born!
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 large handfuls of arugula
- 2 oz pine nuts
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
- 1 lemon
- 1 TBSP local honey
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, spread the pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once the oven reaches 400 degrees, roast the pine nuts for 3-5 minutes. You want them to be starting to turn brown, but you don’t want them burnt. Set the pine nuts aside to cool.
2. Add the uncooked quinoa and water to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer until all of the water has cooked off (similar to cooking rice). Set the quinoa aside to cool.
3. Juice your lemon and remove the seeds. A trick to getting most of the juice out of a lemon is to push and roll it on your counter before cutting it. Finely dice the shallot and mince your garlic.
4. Add the lemon juice, honey, diced shallot, minced garlic, salt and olive oil to a small bowl and wisk the ingredients together. Set aside.
5. Add the arugula to your serving bowl. Once the quinoa is no longer hot, add it to the serving bowl. Pour your dressing on and add the pine nuts. Toss the salad until all ingredients are equally distributed. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and you are done.
NOTE: You can buy shaved Parmesan, but I just bought a chunk and used a potato peeler to get the larger pieces.
ALSO NOTE: The reason the recipe takes so long is because of the cool down time for the quinoa. I let my quinoa cool while I got dressed for lunch. The flavors also seemed to meld REALLY well overnight so you might even want to make this dish a day ahead of serving it.