Pear Season: Toasted Quinoa and Pear Salad

Mmmmm…we’re getting to that time of year where pears are in season and just simply juicy and delicious, one of our fall favorites! The nutritional benefits of pears are wide-ranging, including enough fiber to supply a quarter of your daily needs as well as quercetin, a flavonoid linked to improved immunity, bone health and weight loss.

We love pears fresh and solo – but if you like to dress yours up, it might not get any better than this salad. It’s quirky – combining summery tart dried cherries with fall flavors in the pear and toasted quinoa and almonds – perfect for this time of year when the days are still warm but the nights get cool, hinting at the season to come.

When picking your pears, remember that this is one of those fruits that does ripen well after being picked – so if you won’t be using them for a few days, look for ones that are firm to the touch. If you’re eating or using that day, test by gently aplying pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb…if it feels slightly soft, it’s ripe and delicious!

Toasted Quinoa and Pear Salad

Ingredients

Salad:GG-Toasted-Quinoa-and-Pear-Salad-4-1 cup quinoa
-1 ½ cups water
-½ tsp salt-1/3 cup dried tart cherries
-1 Anjou pear, cut into large chunks
-1 cup baby arugula, packed
-1/3 cup toasted, sliced almonds
-2 oz Chevre cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
-1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-½ tsp orange zest
-1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
-1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
-kosher salt, to taste
-¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

To toast the quinoa: Place quinoa in a small pot, and turn heat to medium-low.
Stirring occasionally, and watching closely, toast quinoa about 5-6 minutes. It will
smell nutty and be slightly golden when done.

Remove pot from heat, and add water — be careful, as it will bubble! Throw in salt,
and then return to low heat, and cover. Simmer about 15 minutes, until water is
absorbed. Set aside.

While quinoa is cooking, make the dressing: Whisk all ingredients, through black
pepper, in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, while whisking. Taste, and adjust
seasoning if necessary.

Toss slightly cooled quinoa with all of the dressing. Then add in all other salad ingredients. Serve, and enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from The Glitter Guide.

Serves 6
Nutrition Info:
Calories: 264
Fat: 18 g
Cholesterol: 8 mg
Sodium: 70 mg
Carbs: 21 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 5 g
Sugar: 9 g

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