Apr 26
2011

Black Quinoa Salad with Orange & Cumin Dressing Recipe

Black Quinoa with Orange & Cumin Dressing Recipe

Last week my husband came home from a trip to Whole Foods, clutching a bag of dark grains in his hand. He had gone in hopes of replenishing our supply of red quinoa, but ventured into a bin in the bulk food sections labeled “Black Quinoa”. Aside from the darker color, this new version of one of our favorite grains didn’t look significantly different from its red sibling and, therefore, I assumed that the taste and texture would be the same.

According to Ernie New and John McCamant, two farmers who live in the high San Luis valley of Colorado, black quinoa was born by chance. When New and McCamant attempted to duplicate the growing conditions of the Andean Mountains, the seed of the white quinoa crossed with lamb’s quarter, a native North American plant. The result was a new species that is now called black quinoa. While the shape of the grain is similar to the traditional white and red versions, the texture is slightly crunchier and has a significantly nuttier flavor.

If you are unable to find black quinoa, don’t fret; this salad works just as well with white or red quinoa. The orange and cumin dressing, mixed with tender golden raisins, lends a Moroccan flavor to this easy side dish. It is a satisfying accompaniment to grilled meat. Alternatively, pair with beans for a protein-packed vegetarian meal. The leftovers, if there are any, can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

The recipe:

Pour quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.

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In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, water and golden raisins. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a medium bowl. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature.

The dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together fresh orange juice, ground cumin and salt. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil.

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Toss the quinoa with the dressing and sliced green onions. Serve.

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Other quinoa recipes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s (from The Church Cook) Red Quinoa, Black Bean & Bell Pepper Salad
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Caramelized Crimini Mushrooms, Soy Sauce & Ginger
Gluten-Free Girl’s Quinoa with Spring Vegetables & Walnut-Kale Pesto
Food 52’s One Pot Kale & Quinoa Pilaf
Eclectic Recipes’ Black Bean Mango Quinoa Salad

Black Quinoa with Orange & Cumin Dressing

1 cup black quinoa (red or white can be substituted)
2 cups water
1/4 cup golden raisins

Dressing:
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Pour quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.

n a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, water and golden raisins. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a medium bowl. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature.

The dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together fresh orange juice, ground cumin and salt. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil.

Toss the quinoa with the dressing and sliced green onions. Serve.

Serves 4 to 6 as side dish.

Printable recipe

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sanjeeta kk April 26, 2011 at 11:42 pm

The recipe look so simple and easy to make, have not seen black quinoa..the salad look so refreshing & healthy. Lovely presentation, D!

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2 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegend April 27, 2011 at 12:54 am

What an awesome picture and just love the black quinoa with orange delish!

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3 Maris (In Good Taste) April 27, 2011 at 3:01 am

The dressing sounds delicious. What an absolutely perfect picture of a healthy and tasty salad!

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4 Katrina April 27, 2011 at 5:01 am

The salad dressing in this sounds especially good. I love making new recipes with quinoa. I must try this!

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5 Heather (Heather's Dish) April 27, 2011 at 5:51 am

i like quinoa, but you definitely have to dress it up a bit to make it super enjoyable…and i’d say that’s exactly what you’ve done! sounds delicious!

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6 Dana April 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

I’ve had a similar dish containing rice, orange juice, and cumin, and LOVED it! This sounds fab!

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7 Lori @ RecipeGirl April 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

Black quinoa? Never seen it! I need to be a little more experienced w/ quinoa…

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Lori, once we started working quinoa into our diets, we couldn’t get enough of it. One of the beauties of this whole grain is that it cooks so quickly.

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9 brandi April 27, 2011 at 9:04 am

I love using red and black quinoa – it adds such a great pop of color! This would be fantastic with some black beans, too.

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I agree, Brandi. Black beans would be a great addition, particularly if you wanted to make this into a full meal.

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11 Yuri April 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

Thanks for this information, I always buy white, red an black but didn’t know the story behind the black variety. I find that it takes longer to cook, I usually mix them to make tricolor quinoa dishes. I’m always looking for new ways to serve quinoa so I’ll be trying this dressing soon :)

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12 Emily @Cleanliness April 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

This is beautiful!

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13 RavieNomNoms April 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

How pretty…I love that you made them into little mounds. I really love your ingredients, nice combination!

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14 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

What an incredibly delicious looking dish! I love quinoa and I know my husband and I both would enjoy this so much. Now, to find the black stuff…

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15 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Georgia, don’t let the black quinoa hold you back. This dish would work just as well with red or white quinoa.

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16 Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies April 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

This looks so simple and yummy. I’ve been wanting to try Quinoa..can I use the regular light coloured instead of black? I’ve never seen black Quinoa around here.

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17 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Asiya – yes, you can use white or red quinoa in place of the black.

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18 Jenny Flake April 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I LOVE quinoa! This looks delicious!

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19 Jen of My Tiny Oven April 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I love Quinoa! Thanks for a new idea! It looks super tasty!

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20 Kalynskitchen April 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I have some black quinoa and keep meaning to try it. This sounds like a great way to use it!

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21 Tracy April 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

This looks amazing! I’m so loving quinoa right now so I will have to try this!

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22 Belinda @zomppa April 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I didn’t know the history of this – what a neat story! Looks delicious.

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23 Lynne @ CookandBeMerry April 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm

What a beautiful salad and such tasty ingredients. I have had white quinoa, but now I will hit my neighborhood Whole Foods for the black variety. Love the crunch. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m looking forward to meeting you at Camp, too.

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24 Melanie April 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm

This looks totally yummy, but I have to ask where those beautiful bowls were purchased. I’m a sucker for anything that nests…

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25 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Melanie, I found those dishes at our local Asian market. They have great deals on dishes.

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26 Nancy@acommunaltable April 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Now I am going to have to go on a hunt for Black Quinoa!! I am with you Dara, once I tried quinoa I couldn’t get enough of it either!

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27 Tricia B April 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

I found a bag of black quinoa at Wegman’s grocery store last weekend and now I have a recipe! Looks yummy and love the black bean suggestion too. Thanks!

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28 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

Hey Dara,

We eat a lot of quinoa, but I’ve not found black quinoa yet. It’s so pretty and sounds delicious with the oranges.

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29 Georgia Pellegrini April 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

I adore quinoa, and especially love that it is so good for you. I found quinoa pasta not too long ago and think I like that better than white flour pasta. I’m into red quinoa these days because I love the color mixed with vegetables, but I’ll have to check out black next!

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30 Tickled Red April 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I’ll be honest I have never tried quinoa…so this will be what I make when I give it a try! Sounds delicious :)

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31 Celia April 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I adore quinoa, but I’m usually boring and go with the regular kind…this is so visually striking I’m totally tempted to branch out to the black stuff. Who knows – might even get really crazy and try the red…

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32 Roots+Platters May 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

I am obsessed with quinoa! I was so glad to find this recipe because my husband and I have quinoa about twice a week during the summer. He gets very tired of the same old recipes, even though he eats every bite! So, thanks for the inspiration. It was so great meeting you this weekend!

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33 Jeanette May 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Loving all the flavors in this quinoa salad. It’s so nice to see different varieties of quinoa on the market more readily available. I like the red and black for their deep colors, makes salads look more exotic.

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34 Wendy @ Cooking Quinoa May 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

This looks so beautiful! Strangely, although I cook quinoa all the time I’ve never tried black quinoa. It’s interesting that the flavor is different from red and white. I’m going to go to Whole Foods this weekend and pick up some and try it with this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful photographs!

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35 LynnCS January 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

White Quinoa crossed with Lamb’s Quarter’s? On it’s own? Not likely… Sounds like a GMOd thing to me!!

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36 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Hi Lynn, thanks so much for your kind and diplomatic comment. However, from all of the research I have done, it is my understanding that black quinoa is not a GMO food. However, if you come across information to the contrary, I would be happy to listen.

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