Quinoa Pilaf with Apples, Herbs and Honey-Cider Vinaigrette


by Chef Laura Frankel, LaurasKosherKitchen


Quinoa is a near, perfect complete-protein which makes it not only a great side-dish, but also a delicious light main course. The quinoa seeds are coated with saponins, which are the plant’s defense mechanism to protect the seeds from birds and insects. This coating tastes soapy and bitter and if not removed can ruin a whole dish. Many quinoa packages do not instruct the home cook on removal of the saponins.

Place the quinoa in a deep bowl filled with cool water. Rub the grains together with your hands. You will see the water become cloudy. Continue to do this and change the water once or twice.

I like to make the most of this side dish by using different colors of quinoa. I mix red, golden and black for extra color.


2 cups quinoa
2 medium shallots, peeled and diced
2 firm apples, cored and cut into dice (I prefer Honey Crisp)
1/2  cup golden raisins
1/2  cup shredded carrots
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced red grapes
1/4  cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup best quality honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate paste or molasses
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper


To make the Vinaigrette: Whisk all of ingredients together.

Rinse the quinoa under water for several minutes, rubbing the grains together to remove the slightly “soapy” film.

Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Cook the quinoa over medium heat until it is tender (about 20 minutes). Drain any excess water and lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Sauté the shallots, apples until lightly browned. Add to the quinoa along with the remaining ingredients and Vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste.


Recipes: Side Dishes, Quinoa Pilaf, Apples, Herbs, Parve, Kosher


Side Dishes