The first step of making this salad is to cook three-quarters of a cup of red quinoa. Do you rinse your quinoa before cooking it? I never used to rinse quinoa or rice but I’ve started doing so lately. Quinoa has naturally-occurring saponins on the surface that could affect the taste if not rinsed away. Odds are that it was rinsed before being packaged, but I give it another rinse in a sieve just to be sure. So, rinsed quinoa was cooked, drained, and allowed to cool. Next, halloumi was sliced, brushed with olive oil, dusted with ras-el-hanout and grilled on each side on a grill pan. At the same time, pecans were toasted in the oven, and pumpkin seeds were added to the baking sheet for the last few minutes. I made a little extra dressing since I was also using extra spinach, and that included about four tablespoons of pomegranate molasses, two tablespoons of lemon juice, four tablespoons of olive oil, one crushed clove of garlic, a pinch of ground cumin, and some freshly ground black pepper. To build the salad, the cooled quinoa was placed in large bowl and topped with the dressing. Cleaned and chopped fresh spinach was added followed by some chopped dried apricots, minced red onion, and chopped parsley. Each serving of salad was topped with a few pieces of grilled halloumi and some pecans and pumpkin seeds.
I’m easily drawn to any dish with halloumi. I love the salty flavor it adds and the firm texture that takes so well to grilling or searing. The spices that mixed with the dressing, sweet dried apricots, nuts, and parsley were an added bonus. This tasty meal-of-a-salad indicates that my impulse buy was a good one.
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