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Quinoa Salad with Pistachios & Cranberries



Ingredients for Quinoa Salad with Pistachios & Cranberries

  • For the salad:
  • 1/3 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 scallions, green tops removed, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tsp. minced shallots
  • 1 T sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 T California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • (Makes 1/3 cup, enough to dress a salad for 4 servings)



  • Preparing the salad:
  • To toast the pistachio nuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the pistachio nuts in a single layer in a small pan and roast until you can just detect their aroma and they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Let them cool to room temperature, then chop them coarsely (this can be done ahead). Toast the quinoa in a medium skillet over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until it lightly browns, starts to crackle, and smells a bit toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a pot, add the water and the salt, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the quinoa is soft but still has a little bite, about 15 minutes. The water should be gone. Transfer the grain to a bowl and let it cool. Add the pistachio nuts, celery, scallions, and cranberries and toss everything together. If not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad, but bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • Preparing the dressing:
  • Put the shallots, vinegar, salt and a few grindings of pepper into a small deep bowl, a coffee mug, or a 1-cup measure. Slowly pour 2 Tbspns of extra virgin olive oil into the bowl, beating constantly with a fork. Beat in the water, then the remaining 2 Tbspns of extra virgin olive oil. Taste for seasoning.


  • Recipe courtesy of Fran Gage for the California Olive Ranch
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