One of the best things about living in Washington state is the cherries! The price of cherries in the South ought to have been illegal. But, I still paid the price and bought those cherries. The ability to get organic cherries for next to nothing (by nothing I mean 75% cheaper than my prior, Southern, cherry purchases) motivated me to find new ways to indulge in this favorite fruit.
This salad is one of those "new" ways, but it's a recipe I have plans of making an old favorite, and enjoying every cherry season. Sweet cherries are the perfect counterpart for spicy arugula and the vinaigrette ensures each bite is infused with cherry flavor. If you don't have fresh cherries around, no problem. You can use dried cherries in the salad, and make the dressing with frozen cherries.
Quinoa & Arugula Salad
3/4 cup quinoa, dry
1/3 cup toasted almonds
6 ounces arugula
2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
1/2 cup fresh cherries, halved (or 1/4 cup dried)
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, set the quinoa aside to cool.
2. Combine the quinoa through cherries in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until mixture is smooth.
*Thank you to Wild Hare Organic Farm for many of the local & seasonal produce
we are able to use in our recipes.