ffwD: Quinoa, (Not Dried) Fruit & Nut Salad

Gah! What is it with Dorie, the French, and their love of dried fruits? There must be a compromise somewhere.

In this week’s recipe, Dorie suggests the inclusion of assorted dried fruit in the dish, including the infamous raisin, cranberries, and apricots. Now, I promise that I am open to trying new dishes and was looking forward to this one because I’ve never eaten quinoa. But dried plump fruit just doesn’t do it for me. It does not explode on my tastebuds in a great flavor sensation. It is too chewy and sticks to my teeth. For me, fruit should be juicy. I mean, why get dried “plump” fruit when fruit is already plump before it’s dried? So, in that respect, I substituted in Mandarin orange slices for the dried fruit.

As for the preparation, everything was roughly the same. When the quinoa was cooking, it emitted a boiled peanut smell. So, that was interesting. I mashed up the Mandarin orange slices a bit so all the ingredients would be in proper size proportion. And, instead of whisking lemon juice with the olive oil, I used the juice from the Mandarin oranges.

Surprisingly, this dish was pretty tasty! I loved the bursts of juice when I bit into the oranges. Plus, the flavors melded quite well after the dish was allowed to sit for an hour. Nutty, a bit savory, and sweet! The quinoa and the almond slices made this dish hearty enough to stand alone, so I didn’t serve it on a bed of greens or with the yogurt. My resulting dish turned out a bit monochromatic, but I didn’t have a chance to get a bunch of fresh mint like I had planned. Oh, well. I’ll do that next time because I still have 2/3 a box of quinoa left! Yum!

Check out other bloggers who followed the rules and used dried fruit in this quinoa, fruit & nut salad at French Fridays with Dorie. As usual, the recipe for this dish can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. GPL
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 00:52:04

    Love Quinoa, and it comes in different color types too!! I bet the oranges were delicious with it.

  2. Three-Cookies
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 03:32:02

    Do you follow the principle “rules are made to be broken”?:)

    Have you tasted dried figs? You may change your mind!

    • yummychunklet
      Apr 01, 2011 @ 07:46:00

      How funny! I was pondering including California Mission figs because I was pleasantly surprised with them during the Beggar’s linguine, but I didn’t have a chance to make it to that particular store. Good idea!

  3. liz
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 06:11:08

    Nice adaptation!! Yeah, another one my family wouldn’t touch, but I enjoyed this salad for lunch all week🙂

  4. Adriana
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 06:13:26

    I really liked this! When I first read through the recipe, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Beggar’s Linguine, but liked the freshness the citrus brought to the salad. And yay for you for using fresh fruit!

    • yummychunklet
      Apr 01, 2011 @ 07:47:24

      I was also thinking about Beggar’s linguine, too! I thought that if I were to include dried fruit, it would be the California Mission figs from the linguine. But, I didn’t have a chance to go to that particular store before I made this.

  5. Ker-Yng
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 07:15:18

    I don’t think I’ve tried Quinoa before! Good on you for making it something you’ll like with fresh fruit!

  6. Cher
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 07:23:44

    Too funny. Glad you gave it a try. This was definitely better after it say (i.e. second and third day were the best for me).
    Another new ingredient under you belt. Yea!

  7. Yuri
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 08:00:25

    This dish could almost be called “beggar’s quinoa”. Not my favorite way to eat it tho… yesterday I introduced it to my boyfriend [he doesn’t like fruit & nuts combo so I cooked it Asian style] I didn’t think he’d like the taste of it but to my surprise he LOVED it! He loves rice and he thought quinoa is a good alternative to it, I’m already thinking of new ways to cook it for him🙂

  8. Louanne
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 08:01:38

    I love quinoa – what a great salad! If you like tabbouleh, quinoa is a great substitute for couscous.

  9. Peggy
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 08:33:59

    This definitely sounds like a wonderful substitution! I’m not too crazy about the dried fruit either, but the mandarin slices sound like a refreshing change! =)

  10. sara
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 08:43:42

    Ooooh, I love the idea of using Mandarin orange slices and juice…sounds really delicious!🙂

  11. Anne-Marie
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 08:44:02

    You made me laugh, picturing you with raisins stuck between your teeth! Thanks for the chuckle. Your quinoa looks so pearly and pretty.

  12. Elaine
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:05:21

    We preferred this dish without the salad and yogurt and agree that it was hearty enough to stand on it’s own. It must have tasted so good with the mandarin oranges!

  13. Trevor Sis Boom
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:13:17

    I’m somewhat surprised I followed the rules but I did so laughing knowing it was more of the dried fruit for you. lol. I’ll be making it again this weekend for a picnic.

  14. Mary
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:27:59

    You started my day with a smile. Some rules are meant to be broken. I’m glad you were able to create a dish to your liking. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  15. Denise @ There's a Newf in My Soup!
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:38:14

    I really liked it with fresh fruit also. It’s a very versatile dish, and easy to adapt to your liking!

  16. Ronda
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:12:03

    I thought the salad was a bit dry, so fresh fruit would really help that.

  17. Allison
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:19:20

    Love that you used mandarin orange slices. I’m going to write that into the side of the recipe so I remember it this summer!

  18. Clarkie @ Beloved Green
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:51:46

    I adore quinoa. I like it with lemon and pine nuts, but I bet the fruit addition would actually work out.

  19. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:03:31

    No worries, I had to sub fresh for the dried, too… I just can’t get over my dislike for the dried stuff!🙂

  20. Christina
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:22:06

    Orange and almond is a great combination for a salad. Good choice! Looks juicy and delicious.

  21. Spike
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:54:45

    gorgeous color! I’m going to try with dried apricots some (but not all) dried fruit scares me!

  22. Kathy
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 12:56:12

    I think the fresh fruit idea sounds great! I thought of chopping up some fresh mango in mine but, wanted to see how it tasted first as written. Since you have an aversion to dried fruit you made a great choice! Looks wonderful!

  23. Jessica
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 13:47:19

    Yeah, dried fruit isn’t that great except for banana chips! Good idea with the mandarin oranges.

  24. Tricia S.
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 14:02:23

    I think it is so funny that we all had Beggar’s Linguine on the mind🙂 I literally told me hubby that I would be making that for dinner. This was fun and I was glad to try quinoa. Nana has an aversion to raisins to I was surprised at how much she has been enjoying that in some of the Dorie recipes (although NOT this one…….:) My older son loves Mandarins so I can not wait to try it with that and the juice. Great idea !

  25. Comfy Cook
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 15:31:08

    Looks good to me. What would Ina say?

  26. Frollicking Night Owl
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 17:14:11

    Mmmm…the mandarin oranges sound SO good! Yes, great for breakfast!

  27. Candy
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 17:17:40

    Great idea to use mandarin oranges!

  28. sonia
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 19:10:57

    The quinoa has always been on my must have list esp for bfast and ur addition of fruits has made it more fulfilling and lively.

  29. Mary
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 19:37:54

    I love that you used mandarin oranges…nice substitution🙂.

  30. Christina
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 20:58:07

    I think the mandarin oranges sound lovely. I think I’ll try mint next time too.

  31. betsy
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 21:28:56

    I think this recipe invited flexibility and substitution! So glad that you used something you liked (Mandarin oranges) for something you despise (raisins, yes, I read your other post). Looks like it came out beautifully!

  32. Candy (Dulce)
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 21:33:09

    Looks really good!

  33. Meri
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 21:33:16

    This looks suuuuper good. I’m a big fan of dried fruit, so I’d probably like it either way, but your mandarins look really good right now. I think I’m hungry haha.

  34. Eva
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 21:44:20

    I’ve always been a bit hesitant to use quinoa because I thought it would be too crunchy, but this post has convinced me otherwise. I bet it would go great with the nice juicy bursts of citrus, like you said. Sounds wonderful🙂

  35. Cakelaw
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 04:00:48

    The orange mandarin juice looks lovely ontop of the quinoa. Good on you for finding away to make this while getting aorund your dislike of dried fruit.

  36. Ryan
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 08:53:34

    Great idea to substitute mandarin oranges in this dish and to use their juice in the dressing. I bet that added a lot of flavor and texture to the salad. I think you can easily make this a “raid the pantry” kind of salad and adapt it to what you have on hand. Ha! re: the quinoa smelling of boiled peanuts– it really did have a strange odor when it was cooking!🙂

  37. Marina
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 09:41:55

    I never tried quinoa, can you believe that? I have to change that!

  38. Renee - Kudos Kitchen
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 16:33:37

    You and I feel the same about the dried fruit. Ack! However your addition of the mandarin oranges was inspired! Good thinking! Wish I had done that.

  39. Vince Waktins
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 00:31:48

    My family was divided: my middle daughter and I ate the salad as is, and Husband and the youngest daughter picked among the fruit and nuts:) I loved it, and it will be repeated soon! I like your photo – you can discern each individual grain:)

  40. Lana
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 00:33:26

    OK, the comment above is me, writing on my husband’s laptop, which automatically adds his data. So, it’s Lana, and not Vince:) My poor laptop is in the factory getting fixed:(

  41. Renee
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 15:32:47

    Yum! Mint would have been great in it. I would have greatly increased the herbs had I to do it over again. No raisins! Good for you!!! Here here to no raisins!!

  42. Monica (Ms. Hobby)
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:00:04

    That is such a creative idea to use fresh fruit! I tried to get around the dreaded raisins by picking an assortment of dried fruit that included lots of others as well, but they were still hanging out in there. Yay for your raisin-free quinoa.

  43. Stephirey
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 22:26:12

    Love the idea of making this with mandarin oranges (and juice). I have no problem with dried fruits, but juicier fruits would be great too!

  44. Terra
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 15:55:40

    It’s okay to not enjoy dried fruit, fresh is soooo much better anyways! Your salad looks so delicious with the fruit, and very colorful:-)
    Take care,
    Terra

  45. sanyaliving
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 05:26:24

    I missed this week’s recipe, feeling sick, but was curious about how it would turn out! Looks really good.

  46. Kim -Liv Life
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 13:31:46

    We are big quinoa salad fans, and I’m really liking what you did with the mandarin orange in it. I hVe a favorite from Cooking Light that you might like, I’m not sure of the name, but try Orange Quinoa Salad. It does have raisins, but also green onions and a touch of buttermilk too. I’m eager to give yours a try as well!

  47. Padhu
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 05:24:42

    What a lovely salad!

  48. Laural (bhealthier)
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 14:38:30

    Would Ina like it ? I bet I would like this! I just made the last of my quinoa for my last post- So good and will need to get more esp. with warmer weather- It’s a great quick dish. Love the mandarin and almonds- own it!🙂

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