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.