French Fridays with Dorie: Quinoa, Fruit & Nut Salad

It’s my first French Fridays with Dorie and it was so fun to peruse what the other members did, and what variations they used to make it uniquely their own, depending on time frames, and what was available in pantries or markets.

A bit about French Fridays with Dorie:

~Anybody who wants to be a member can register at the website here

~We don’t publish the recipe, opting instead to cook directly from Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table

~ The community of cooking enthusiasts is a focused place to share each Friday what we’ve done

~I hope you sign up! It would be great to share these recipes together. There are over 300 to cook from. Next week is Garlicky Crumb-Coated Broccoli!

Quinoa has been a staple in our house for quite some time, ever since a friend of mine served us a Mediterranean Grain salad with Cucumbers, Red Onion, Apple Cider Vinegar and a host of other ingredients.

This recipe is a bit different than that one, and I’m looking forward to comparing the two after this one chills for a while…a little longer than the recommended time of one hour.

I made a few variations of my own and was able to really make this a labor of love since my kids are home for Spring Break, and we are getting a much sought after break from the hustle bustle. This means I can be in the kitchen for even more hours at a time.

Variation #1: I chopped the nuts and dried fruit into bite-size pieces to mimic the small size of the Quinoa grain itself.

Variation #2: I added Lemon Zest because I just always seem to do that when I juice Lemons for a recipe, and it smells good and I could inhale it all day… and I just love Lemon. You can read about that here.

Variation #3: I plumped the fruit with water, but realize that I can use Grand Marnier for a more concentrated Citrus flavor next time (and for the adults).

Variation #4: I used Plain Greek Yogurt with the additional protein to make this a perfect main dish.

Variation #5: I drizzled Olive Oil all over at the end…yum.

This dish reminded me of friendship, picnics at the park and sitting on the patio with the heat of the sun on my back. I simply can’t wait to usher in spring with this abundant meal for friends.

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12 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Quinoa, Fruit & Nut Salad”

  1. gaaarp April 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Welcome to FFwD! You’ll have a blast baking and cooking with this group. Make sure you go back and make the gougeres at the beginning of the book. They are amazing!

    Nice post. Your salad came out great.

  2. Tricia S. April 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Welcome – what a great first post ! Nana and I enjoyed trying a recipe that we definitely would not have if it weren’t for FF’s. Neither of us had tried quinoa before and while she may not be back for more – this was a keeper for me. As usual, Dorie turns Fridays into an adventure for us :) Tricia

  3. Candy April 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Welcome! I agree, I think you’ll really enjoy this group. I’m so glad that your first recipe was one you enjoyed!!

  4. Sis. Boom. April 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Great job! I thought the same thing and will be making this again so soon for a Sunday picnic this weekend.

  5. Elaine April 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Welcome to French Fridays with Dorie! Your salad looks so good! I love the variations that you made and I am going to try some of them because now that I have had quinoa I am keeping it in our diet.

  6. Adriana April 2, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    Your salad looks great and I loved your ideas of adding the extra zest and plumping the fruit. What a great blog! I’m glad I found it through FFwD.

  7. Nana April 2, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    I hope your enjoy cooking with FFwD. Tricia and I started back in
    October, and we have had a lot of fun. Your end result looks
    incredible. Wonderful job.

  8. Cher April 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Welcome. Welcome. Welcome! Glad you joined us.
    I am a huge lemon girl – there are very few foods that don’t benefit from judicious use of the lemon in my opinion!
    Your dish looks great.

  9. Lana April 3, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    Welcome aboard! Great book, great group of bloggers, great food – what’s not to love? Quinoa is so versatile and easily adjusted to any ingredient and taste. I am glad that you liked the dish:)

  10. Betsy April 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Nice job on your first FFwD recipe. Weloome to the group. You’ll have a lot of fun. I love seeing what everyone else comes up with to vary the same recipe every week.
    Your variations sound great, especially the lemon zest and extra olive oil drizzle.

  11. Terra April 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    What a fun way to enjoy this recipe, making it in several different ways. I think variation #3 sounds really wonderful, love the idea of using Grand Marnier.
    Take care,

  12. Teresa April 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Welcome to FFwD! It’s been rewarding so far – stretching our cooking boundaries, exchanging ideas and stories, eating well.

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