The title to this recipe is actually a little misleading; I used kaniwa in this salad instead of quinoa. Kaniwa is a close relative of quinoa with the same protein packed health benefits, only it has a prettier color and has a less bitter taste. It’s a winning change, though. Kaniwa is basically the same as quinoa, only better, and the rich color adds an improved visual element to the dish.
I stumbled across this close relative of quinoa by accident, during a rushed trip to the grocery store. Once I got home I realized I had this new mystery grain instead of traditional quinoa, and immediately the wheels began turning as to what I could make with this. I have no doubt you could substitute regular quinoa and it would work beautifully in this recipe (Or red quinoa to give it some color). The best part of this recipe is how simple it is; it’s just four quick steps to making this beautiful and intriguing side dish.
1. Cook quinoa
2. Mix together dressing ingredients
3. Dice pears and chop pecans
4. Toss all ingredients together and serve.
Simple! For that matter it makes a super healthy main dish with all the protein packed in with the pecans, cheese and quinoa (or kaniwa if you’re feeling adventurous)
Pear and Gorgonzola Quinoa Salad
For the Salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa or kaniwa
- 1/2 cup diced pears
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup pecan pieces
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 3 T Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions and cool completely
- Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients and mix together well.
- To assemble the salad. Toss together the quinoa, pears, Gorgonzola, pecans and dressing to taste. Serve immediately.
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