This is a lovely quinoa salad with apricots and nuts. You can make it with fresh fruit in summer or beautiful dried fruit (soaked) in Autumn and Winter. It is pretty glorious even if I do say so myself.
Finally, we are on the last leg of a three year journey to cook all of the 101 Salads of Mark Bittman. Just a couple more to go, less than I can count on 2 fingers. The first of the salads was posted in 2015, and first made perhaps 12 months before that, and it has taken all of this time to make, write up and then schedule, each recipe for posting. It took around 3 years of focused salad making to complete.
The first Summer, we probably made around 20 or 25 of the recipes, the second Summer, perhaps another 20. But the difference in the third Summer was twofold – I fell in love with this routine of salad making, and, well, I didn’t want to spend another 2 years on this project. So a very focused effort began in Autumn of 2017.
The funny thing was, making a salad almost every day – around 5 salads a week – changed food in our kitchen. We now look for our daily salad. We think about it and plan it. We enjoy our salad at different times of the day too – sometimes it makes a great snack mid morning or mid afternoon, sometimes it *is* lunch, sometimes a part of our dinner. Leftovers are eaten for supper, or packed for lunch the next day, or eaten for breakfast even (they are that delicious).
We are completing the 101 Salads in at the end of Early Winter of 2017, even though as you are reading this, it is probably well past that date. The salad posts have been scheduled over time so as not to overwhelm our feed with only salads. We were lucky, taking the salads through Autumn into Winter, as Bittman finishes his list with salads that are based on grains – quinoa, barley, couscous, wheat, rice. We loved these grainy ones in the colder weather of Winter.
We made every salad that we could, and converted many others. There were a few that we could not make – once the non-vegetarian items were removed, there was nothing left to make a salad from. Other salads featuring non-veg items, well, we just stripped them out and made the bones of the salad. We thought about tarting them up by substituting other ingredients, but actually we enjoyed the really pared down salads with killer dressings. We did. Simple is good. (Over the top complex is good too, hey Ottolenghi?)
Some salads we changed a little, due to availability of local ingredients, some we added a couple of items – white pepper, for example, to Asian style salads (my absolute love), or something we might have sitting on our kitchen bench that made a good addition. Pickled cumquats made it into a tart quinoa salad, and were divine. Some pickled jicama topped another salad, adding that delightful apple-flavoured crunch. But mostly, we left the original version alone.
And there you have it. Our long, multi-year journey of Salads with Bittman. I hope you like this one, #99 on his list. Please enjoy! Then browse all of our others.
This salad we needed to convert to a Winter version, so replaced the Summer-only ingredients with dried equivalents. It is a cracker salad! Both versions are included below.
Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans
Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots, cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savoury.
alternative recipe for autumn and winter
Toss cooked quinoa with sliced, soft dried apricots (soak if necessary), soft dried cranberries or/and goji berries, soaked and sliced dried Iranian figs, pecans or toasted hazelnuts or bright green pistachios, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savoury. Divine! Drizzle with a little hazelnut oil if desired.