This black quinoa salad has a wonderful mixture of bright and rich flavors, thanks to the easy orange cumin dressing.
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.
How to make black quinoa salad:
Pour quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
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.
Make 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.
Other quinoa recipes:
Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Quinoa with Caramelized Crimini Mushrooms, Soy Sauce & Ginger
Moroccan Chicken Quinoa Salad
Moroccan Black Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup black quinoa red or white quinoa can be substituted
- 2 cups water
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and golden raisins. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
- Cook until all of the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a medium bowl. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature.
- Toss the quinoa with the dressing and sliced green onions. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together fresh orange juice, ground cumin and salt. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil.
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Wendy @ Cooking Quinoa
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!
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.
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!
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...
I'll be honest I have never tried quinoa...so this will be what I make when I give it a try! Sounds delicious 🙂
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!
We eat a lot of quinoa, but I've not found black quinoa yet. It's so pretty and sounds delicious with the oranges.
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!
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!