I love hazelnuts. Even more so, I love Nutella. Did you know it takes about 50 hazelnuts to make a 13-ounce jar of Nutella? Remember this when you get picked to play Jeopardy and get this million dollar question correct!
This salad probably takes about 10-12 hazelnuts per serving. Depending, of course, on how much chipmunk or squirrel you’ve got in you. Perhaps you’ll nibble through a pound. Anything is possible.
Though I believe anything is possible, I have been wondering about one thing. I haven’t seen much warm quinoa in food magazines or restaurants when eating out.
Is it just me or do would you agree? I wonder why.
Anyways, this salad may just help to change that. At least for you and I.
The original recipe calls for allowing the quinoa to cool off. I didn’t do that as I believe the flavors are stronger and brighter when quinoa is served warm.
I incorporated the other modifications I made in the recipe below. I thought the flavors and textures of this salad were pretty spectacular.
Quinoa Salad Deconstructed
You have a lot going on in this bowl. It’s like an aquarium of colorful fish. Each little fish embodying complex flavors and textures. You are the shark that comes to eat them all up!!!
You have the warm quinoa as the base. Your protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Everything else just adds sweet, salty, sour, tart, acidic, and fragrant notes to that base.
On top of that, you decorate with crunchy toasted hazelnuts, crunchy/tart apple, green onion, parsley, and dried cranberries. The secret to keeping your apples green after chopping is rubbing with a fresh cut lemon. (No browning!!)
The secret to keeping your apples green after chopping is rubbing with a fresh cut lemon. (No browning!!)
I got to use my gloriously long green onions. I grew these on my balcony from seed. Sowed about 4-5 months ago!! Relatively easy to grow and dirt free since the tops are still intact! Fresh herbs and veggies are the best!!
The part that elevates this dish to the level it’s at is the sauteed onion and celery. Using olive oil, salt and pepper and a quick trip to the saute pan will round out this salad quite nicely.
Lastly, there is no ‘dressing’ for this salad. You just drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil and toss all the ingredients. Doesn’t get any easier than that!!
The most difficult part
Is deskinning the toasted hazelnuts. If you’ve ever done it before, you know how messy it can get.
First, you have to wait until they cool so you don’t get burned. As they cool, some of the skins will fall off naturally. Not all, though. The technique I learned is using a kitchen towel and rubbing the hazelnuts together inside it. You can then pick out the hazelnuts from the pile of skins. (You don’t want to eat the skins because they can taste bitter. ) If you have a better technique, let me know!!
You can see below I got most of it off.
So there you have it. A nice warm quinoa salad in less than 30 minutes! Let me know what you think! Thanks for reading !
In case you missed them, here are some of my other quinoa recipes!
Autumn Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts, Apple, and Cranberries
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 people 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: New American
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup small onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup celery (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts (toasted, de-skinned and chopped)
- 1/4 cup green onions (chopped )
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (chopped )
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsely (chopped)
- 1 whole granny smith apple (or any apple)
- 1 whole lemon (juiced)
- olive oil (to taste)
- fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 325F and toast your hazelnuts for about 7-10 minutes. You may see/hear some of the skins separate as they cool. After they have cooled, remove as much skin as possible and then chop in half.
- While the hazelnuts are toasting, you can start to cook your quinoa. I usually toast the dry quinoa for a minute or two before adding in the water. Otherwise, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Fluff quinoa with a fork when done.
- Preheat a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil and saute your chopped onion and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. After 2-3 minutes remove from heat.
- Chop parsley, dried cranberries and green onions. Core and chop the apple, rub the apple with the sliced lemon to prevent it from turning brown. Then juice the lemon.
- Combine the onion, celery, parsley, apple, cranberries, green onions, quinoa, and hazelnuts. Drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and taste. Add more olive oil and lemon juice as you like, Top with more cracked pepper and serve.
If you really like lemon, I would consider zesting the lemon prior to juicing and topping the salad with lemon zest. That will make the lemon flavor much stronger than I have it in the recipe. Totally up to you! Could also sub the cranberries with dried cherries.