Pear Walnut Quinoa Salad

Today, I decided to try a new quinoa salad recipe. By now, I have a few favorite, easy recipes for meals in the apartments, but my goal is to try at least one new recipe each week. This week, decided to use a fall fruit, pear, as the centerpiece for my quinoa salad. I paired the juicy, crisp pears, with crunchy walnuts and fresh mozzarella, marinated it in an apple cider vinaigrette, and put the whole thing on a bed of baby spinach leaves. The result? A fresh, delicious, healthy fall meal.

Quinoa is a very versatile grain, and I love using it as a base for main dishes. Two of my other favorite quinoa salads include my Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard, and my Quinoa Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing. I got especially creative with the dressing for quinoa salad. I took a leap of faith and added cinnamon to the vinaigrette. That’s right, cinnamon. I know, it sounds a little odd, but trust me on this one. It’s not a whole lot of cinnamon, but just enough to give the vinaigrette an extra little spice and sweetness. The flavors textures of the pear, walnut, and mozzarella are perfectly complemented by the slightly spiced, fruity vinaigrette. Another plus about this recipe is that it’s super quick and easy to throw together! Perfect for busy college weeknights.

Pear Walnut Quinoa Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

Salad:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

3 ripe but firm pears, diced

8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced

1 cup walnuts, chopped

3 cups spinach leaves

Vinaigrette:

6 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.

In a small cup or container, shake or stir together the vinaigrette ingredients. Place the pears and mozzarella in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over them. Toss to coat. Add the cooled quinoa and toss to combine. Place a bed of spinach on a plate and top with one serving (about 1 cup) of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

Print

DSCN1564

It’s falltime! Pear season is here!

DSCN1572

DSCN1573

Crispy, crunchy, and chewy all come together in this lovely fall salad

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