clean and simple February 2, 2010

009 blackquinoa4

Beautifully tender but textured greens. Crunchy, crisp apples. Nutty, toothsome quinoa. Creamy, tart goat cheese. All enveloped in a tangy, sweet, sharp dressing. It's the stuff of dreams. My dreams, at least. It's the most incredible salad. I know,  I know I say a lot. This time…I mean it. It's the most beautifully balanced mix of textures and flavors I've come across in a really long time.

It's also based on a recipe posted to one of my new favorite food blogs, Green Kitchen Stories. The product of a couple in Sweden – who have another project coming in the way of a new addition to their family – it's such a breath of blog fresh air. Gorgeous, unpretentious photos of recipes that are chock full of lots of good-for-you things. Looking at the photos made me feel good…as did eating their food.

I added a bit of horseradish to my recipe to give a little nose-burning zip to counter-act the dense greens and the crisp apple. Speaking of greens, I used a beautiful mix of kale grown by Crystal Organic Farm here in Atlanta. The greens are just tender enough to be usable for salad without blanching or flashing. The honey adds just the thing to tie everything together. Make sure you add it to your dressing. 

Black Quinoa & Kale Salad – serves 2 as a large salad – based on original recipe found here at Green Kitchen Stories

  • 4 handfuls kale mixture or 4 large leaves of kale/borecole, rinsed, drained & tough stems removed 
  • 2 small Gala apples, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup black quinoa, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 ounces good quality goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons excellent quality extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon good quality prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp. good quality dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. good quality honey
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

To cook the quinoa: Rinse quinoa thoroughly and allow to drain. Place 1 cup dry quinoa and 1 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and cook until cooked but not mushy – this was about 20 minutes for me. I would imagine it depends on the age/freshness of your quinoa. If it absorbs the liquid before it gets tender to your liking, add more liquid and continue cooking. Drain excess water and allow to cool.

For the salad: Remove the tough stems from your kale. I used a lovely kale mix from a local farm-stand. If you're using large kale leaves, make sure the tough ribs are gone. Roughly chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Mix in chopped apples. Set aside.

For the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, horseradish, mustard, and honey. Taste and add salt & pepper as needed. 

To assemble: Toss cooled, cooked quinoa in the dressing. Add dressed quinoa mixture to the kale & apples. Place on individual plates or large serving platter. Crumble goat cheese on top of salad & serve immediately.


chris Feb 2, 2010 06:02 pm

Score! This is awesome. :)

Maria Feb 2, 2010 06:02 pm

I love that you used kale as the base. Great healthy meal!

joey Feb 3, 2010 04:02 am

I’ve never had salad using kale…looks and sounds delicious! And thanks for the link to Green Kitchen Stories – great blog!

Caitlin Feb 3, 2010 05:02 am

Perfect! I never think of anything to use horseradish in (besides roast beef sandwiches), so the addition intrigues me. And thanks for the tip on Green Kitchen Stories – what a great read!

barbara Feb 3, 2010 11:02 am

So healthy Tami. I’ve been cooking with black quinoa this week. I also bought some red quinoa but haven’t tried it yet.

sara Feb 3, 2010 07:02 pm

wow, look at that, I’m already drooling, great color, looks delicious

tamih Feb 4, 2010 10:02 am

i’m testing out my own comments….

my spatula Feb 4, 2010 10:02 am

can i please, please, have this for lunch today?!

Mowie Feb 4, 2010 12:02 pm

Oh wow! Fab hon. That looks super healthy. Yum.

carolyn Feb 4, 2010 01:02 pm

Just discovered your blog and think it is fabulous! And I’m in love with this recipe.

Sarka Feb 5, 2010 10:02 am

I’ve just discovered quinoa recently and I look for new recipes everyday! :) This one looks super delicious!

Kalynskitchen Feb 6, 2010 11:02 am

This looks like a great salad; very flavorful and nutritious.

Mike Stock Feb 8, 2010 09:02 am

Very nice .. And very doable…
You and this salad are winners.

The Teacher Cooks Feb 8, 2010 12:02 pm

I love your photo. The salad looks and sounds delicious.

Carrie Neal Walden Feb 8, 2010 02:02 pm

SOO pretty!! Oh, and looks delicious too!

Cookin' Canuck Feb 8, 2010 08:02 pm

Great idea to add horseradish – perfect combination with apples!

Jennifer Hess Feb 10, 2010 04:02 pm

What a perfect winter salad! And we just happen to have some black quinoa in the pantry…

marla {family fresh cooking} Feb 26, 2010 07:02 pm

This is such a great idea for a salad. I always have kale on hand these days because I am addicted to baked Kale chips! I have never had black quinoa, it is so pretty in this salad.