I saw a recipe in a magazine I purchased that I wanted to make before visiting my cousin. I knew it had quinoa and fruit and nuts, but what else? I was at Amber Waves, the recipe was at home. So I picked up walnuts, an apple, and dried cranberries, along with some delicious red quinoa. When I got home and looked up the recipe, I found it was nothing like what I remembered, with avocado, cumin, and other savory bits. So I decided to make a quinoa Waldorf. So what’s in a Waldorf, anyway? Epicurious had several recipes, all of which included a LOT of mayo. Not the light summery salad I had in mind. And no grain, but celery. Hmmm, celery, crunchy. I had a plan, and this is it.

Quinoa Waldorf Salad
serves 6-8 (as a side dish)

1 C quinoa, red or white, but red is so much prettier and has more texture
2 C water
1/2 t salt

Combine quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Simmer 20 mins. or until water is absorbed. Take off heat and let cool, with the cover off, while you chop up the rest of the ingredients:

1 apple (I used Braeburn, but any red apple looks good)
2 ribs celery
1/3 C walnuts or pecans
1/3 C dried cranberries

Core and dice apple, with skin on. Cut celery ribs in half or thirds lengthwise, and dice. Toast walnuts in oven for 8 mins. at 350 or until they smell fragrant. Most ovens are hotter than mine. Maybe 6 minutes. Chop coarsely. Measure out 1/3 C. dried cranberries. Toss all these ingredients in a large bowl with the quinoa. Make the dressing:

1/4 C olive oil (or any vegetable oil you like)
2 T lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/2 t ground coriander (may omit this, but it gives it a warm earthiness)
1/4 t salt

Put all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to mix. Pour over salad, toss, and serve.

This would be a great picnic food, with deviled eggs, or simply some cottage cheese on the side. I could eat it for breakfast.