Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Dates, and Feta

IMG_6817Doesn’t food make work better?
I work with an amazing group of people; and let me tell you, we know how to feast. We regularly have potlucks and I love hearing where my co-workers get their inspiration and recipes…as well as sample their offerings.
This was a dish brought by one of my colleagues; recipe photocopied from a cook book (not sure which one!) with ‘Excellent!’ scrawled across the bottom. We all enthusiastically demanded the recipe for this because it was so, so, so good.
This salad is on the sweeter side, but gets balance from the lemon and feta. Don’t skip toasting the almonds.
I think this would be great bulked up with chickpeas, or as side to chicken or pork.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons each, finely chopped parsley and chives or green onion
1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
Dressing
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons honey (I prefer on the lower end)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

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we used a quinoa and while rice blend


Instructions

1. In a large saucepan, toast the almonds over medium heat until fragrant. Set aside in a large bowl.
2. In the same saucepan, sauté onions and celery in olive oil until softened (about 5-10 minutes). Add to almonds
3. Cook quinoa as per package directions. Often I substitute broth for some of/all of the water.
4. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Allow quinoa to cool before adding to bowl. If you are impatient like me, wait only as long as you can stand. It may cause a bit of melting of the feta. NBD.
5. Dress and serve.

Slightly adapted from…wherever the recipe came from!

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