A tiny grain with a texture lighter than rice, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is often dubbed "supergrain" because it's rich in many nutrients, particularly protein. If apricots are in season where you live, by all means substitute fresh--about 6, coarsely chopped--in place of the dried.
3 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1/3 cup dried apricots (about 10), quartered
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine) or slightly sweet white wine (such as Riesling)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
How to Make It
To prepare the salad, combine water, quinoa, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid. Combine quinoa mixture, lettuce, and next 8 ingredients (lettuce through black pepper) in a large bowl; set aside.
To prepare the vinaigrette, combine reserved 3 tablespoons cooking liquid, lime rind, and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa mixture, and toss well to coat.
Served this at a party and got several requests for the recipe. I did not use as much romaine as the recipe calls for, and I omitted the jalapeno for personal tastes. This will be a regular item when I have vegetarians over as it can stand up as a main dish.