This side dish salad combines several influences: The dates and orange are an Israeli touch; the pecans pay homage to the American South; and the quinoa is a high-protein grain from South America.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh orange sections (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons minced red onion
5 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 pound (2-inch) slices asparagus, steamed and chilled
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Mint sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
To prepare salad, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add white onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add quinoa to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa mixture to a large bowl. Add orange and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño); toss gently to combine.
To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with chopped mint. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.