Our pomegranate tree is producing fruit in record numbers this season. Everything in the garden seems to be fruiting early — I promise, I won't complain about the weather in this post! This is the third Fall we've had here in our home and it's the biggest yield of this garnet-hued fruit so far.
When planning out my menu for the Rose Story Farm luncheon I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate fruit somewhere and this quinoa salad was the perfect choice for that crunch and sweetness. This hearty salad is packed with Fall flavor but doesn't feel heavy. Best of all, it's easy to put together but still feels and tastes special.
This is an awesome option for holiday entertaining — it covers the bases for any gluten-free or vegan guests (there's no shortage of dietary restrictions these days, am I right?) and looks festive on the buffet table. The quinoa gives a boost of protein that makes it a one-bowl meal for lunching as well. If you can throw dietary restrictions to the wind try topping it with some feta.
I've already made this salad a couple of times in the last week. Go ahead and make a big batch and serve it as a side, then eat up the leftovers for lunch the next day. The arugula holds up well in the fridge and you can always toss in some more fresh greens as the days go on.
If you don't have a backyard tree busting with fruit, no worries — pomegranates are showing up at the farmers market in droves just waiting for this salad.
Any type of quinoa works here, but this rainbow quinoa I found at Whole Foods is especially pretty and seems perfect for Fall.
- For the quinoa:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Splash olive oil
- For the salad:
- 1 cup unsalted almonds
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds, about one large pomegranate or two medium sized (here’s how to easily get the seeds out)
- 4 cups wild organic arugula (about one box)
- Juice of 2 meyer lemons
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Cook the quinoa: Measure the quinoa in a large measuring cup and pour cool tap water covering the measured amount. Swirl around with your finger or a spoon and let sit for at least two minutes. Pour the ingredients into a fine mesh sieve to drain.
- Put a small saucepan (with a lid that fits) over medium-high heat and drizzle in olive oil. Pour moistened quinoa into the pan and stir to coat the quinoa with the oil. Toast the quinoa, the heat will dry the water from the soaking process. This can take 3-5 minutes, be careful not to brown the quinoa. Add the water and salt and stir to combine. Bring to an aggressive boil and cover, turning down your stove to the lowest setting (on my Wolf this is the simmer setting). Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat — don’t peek. Let rest covered for 5 minutes. Lift the lid and fluff with a fork.
- To cool quickly, spread the mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
- Make the salad: Toast the whole almonds in a dry pan until you smell the beautiful, nutty aroma perfume your kitchen.
- Once the almonds and quinoa have cooled, mix together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. I don’t even mix the dressing, I just pour everything in a bowl and toss. Taste for seasoning. Enjoy!
- Grains , Main Dishes
- 8 side servings