Kale and Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Feta

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2012 Nov/Dec

Adapted from a recipe on the food blog Beyond (the Plate) that was inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s Chard Stuffing, this sturdy red and green salad is perfect for the holidays, particularly if you’re charged with taking a side dish to a meal. Quantities of each ingredient are up to you – adjust them according to your taste. The recipe doubles easily if you’re feeding a crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • olive oil, for cooking and drizzling
  • 1 medium shallot or a small chunk of purple onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of kale
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch dried chile flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts or 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • juice of half a lemon

Directions:

Cook the quinoa in a medium-sized pot of boiling water for 12 to 14 minutes, until just tender and the germ separates, making a little curly Q. Drain well in a fine sieve, then return to the pot (off the heat, but still warm), add the cranberries, cover the pot with a tea towel and the lid, and set aside to cool.

In a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, heat a drizzle of oil and sauté the shallot or onion for a couple minutes, until soft. Remove the tough ribs from the kale, stack the leaves and thinly slice them. Add the kale to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until wilted.
(If they need help, add a small splash of water to the pan to create steam, and cover for a few minutes.) Season the kale with salt and add a pinch of chile flakes. If you added water, remove the lid and cook until the moisture has cooked off.

Add the kale to the quinoa, along with the feta and pine nuts or walnuts. Drizzle the salad with oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Add the lemon juice, toss again and serve. Serves 4 to 6.