From the Kitchen: Quinoa and Apricot Salad

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A colorful quinoa and apricot salad.

Quinoa and apricot salad.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped 4 fresh apricots, in 1/2 inch dice
Juice of 2 lemons
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Toast the quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir often until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, usually after about five minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium- sized saucepan over medium heat. Add
the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute or until golden. Next, add the quinoa back to the pan, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, usually after about three to four minutes. Add water, a big pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed. This typically will take 15 to 18 minutes.

While you wait, whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, allspice, honey, parsley and red onion in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly drizzle in the 1/3 cup of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the quinoa, apricots and almonds to the lemon juice mixture and toss. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!