The trick to a good grain salad is making sure it is not soggy. Grains can retain water from cooking, and cause the dressing to dilute and the flavors to be muted. My fix for this is easy, and I’ve included it in the recipe instructions. Also be sure to drain the artichokes really well as this could otherwise impart excess liquid- I, in fact, go as far as squeezing them dry.
Artichokes, together with the sweet currants, crunchy pistachios, and bright herbs create a delicious, healthy dish with an earthy quinoa base. It’s great for a potluck, picnic, or side to grilled chicken.
Quinoa Artichoke Salad with Currants & Pistachios
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 can artichokes in water drained and quartered
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 2 tablespoons toasted pistachios
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
For the dressing:
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes, until the quinoa start to open up and are softened. Drain in a fine mesh strainer and return to the same pot. Cover and place over low heat 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest until the remaining moisture has evaporated and the quinoa is fairly dry and fluffy.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
- Place the quinoa in a serving bowl and add the artichokes, currants, pistachios, parsley and mint. (Salad can be prepped up to this point and refrigerated until ready to serve). Pour the dressing over the quinoa and toss. Top with the feta and serve.