There was a chill to the air today so this simple salad was calling my name.
Just 5 ingredients plus an olive oil/ lemon juice dressing, this salad is easy to prep but still packed with different flavors & textures and DELISH!
It’s simply cooked quinoa, caramelized onions, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and fresh sage all tossed with a little EVOO and lemon juice. The caramelized onions contrast perfectly with the tart cranberries and the almonds provide just a little crunch.
Delicious warm or cold, this Autumn Quinoa Salad is a versatile side dish working equally well along side roasted vegetables or a grilled protein.
And this recipe makes a large quantity and is perfect for a crowd or meal prep.
All you need to make it is: quinoa, 2 onions, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, fresh sage, lemons for lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little salt.
The key to this salad and lots of its flavor comes from the caramelized onions.
There are lots of ways to caramelize onions but the key is to not rush the cooking, let them cook up slowly. These take about 20 minutes to caramelize which is the amount of time to cook quinoa so it the entire salad comes together quickly.
Back to caramelizing onions…. Onions are naturally high in sugars and when they cook, they soften and get tender, releasing sugars which give them that yummy caramelized flavor as they continue to cook up and brown when you cook them slowly over a medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
You can see that there will be brown pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan which have lots of yummy flavor. So if you are feeling adventurous, you can add a little water to the pan over medium low heat and using a spoon give it a stir, which will loosen the crispy brown parts and you can add them directly to the salad and mix it up.
Either way, you stir the sage in with the caramelized onions, then mix it with the quinoa, cranberries, almonds and a very simple olive oil/ lemon juice dressing.
That’s it! It’s super easy and it’s an easy salad in that it tastes great and pairs with everything.
Recipe from a friend, it’s been a favorite for several years.
Hope you love it as much we do!
Scroll down to see the recipe and leave comment if you try.