Spring has come early this year. And although my sinuses are already considering mutiny, it has been a lovely weekend of beautiful weather. But I do have one day left in which to honour my new favourite winter salad.
This salad works no matter what the season, and really, you can use any combination of your favourite lettuces, because what really makes this salad is the crispy quinoa and cider vinegar and Dijon dressing. Add in some crisp apple slices and you have a very enjoyable and filling, albeit extremely crunchy, salad.
Winter Leaf and Apple Salad with Crispy Quinoa and Cider Vinegar Dijon Dressing
- ½ cup multicoloured quinoa
- ¾ cup water
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 witlof (broken into individual leaves)
- 1 small radicchio (broken into pieces)
- 1 handful wild rocket
- 1 handful frisee (trimmed)
- 1 handful watercress
- 2 gala apples or any other red winter apples
- Place the quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain any excess water from the quinoa.*
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the quinoa for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, and crackling as it cooks. Remove from the frying pan and allow to cool.
- Combine the extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine the dressing (or whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl). Set aside.
- Arrange the winter greens on a serving platter and set aside.
- Core the apples and then cut into slices. In a small bowl, toss the apple slices with 1 tablespoon of the dressing to prevent browning and then arrange over the greens. Sprinkle over the quinoa, drizzle liberally with the dressing and serve immediately.
* When cooking quinoa to fry, use much less water than you normally would to cook it, that way it dries out more quickly when you fry it and becomes crispy.
Recipe (very slightly altered) by Sally Courtney as found on the SBS Food website.