With summer coming to a close, I’m desperately clinging to all the seasonal fruit I can get my hands on. Bar none, mango is my absolute favorite fruit. I rarely cook or use it in a dish because I always end up eating it just as it is. However, when I recently tried a mango salsa, I was motivated to start using it in dishes to give a vibrancy to capture the essence of summer.
I developed this recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth and also to add to my breakfast/brunch options. Combining mango and mint with earthy quinoa, raisins and nuts offers different dimensions of flavor in a dish that packs a nutritional punch. Adding the orange-honey-cardamom dressing is just the icing on the healthy cake.
Fruity Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/8 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped
- 1/4 nuts (I used a mix of chopped almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts)
- 1 large mango, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- Cook the quinoa. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Roast the quinoa for about 3 minutes in the hot saucepan, stirring occasionally. Add water, stir and turn up heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to simmer and cover with a lid. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off stove and remove from the heat for about 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a pan, melt butter and add raisins and nuts. Stir to coat and cook until the raisins plump up a bit and the nuts a roasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, add the quinoa, nut mixture, mango and mint.
- In a small bowl, mix together the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract and cardamom. Pour over salad until fully coated.
- Let mixture sit for about 15 minutes before serving.