Maple Dressed Pear & Quinoa Salad

Today is National Maple Syrup Day, but to be perfectly honest, I was able to get a little bit more excited about National Chocolate Covered Anything Day (yesterday) and National Cupcake Day (the day before that). It isn’t that I don’t love maple syrup – I do; in fact, it’s one of the sweeteners that I don’t get totally uptight about using. However, it’s still a sugar, and you know me – I like to keep it to a minimum. I’m definitely not the kind of person who drowns her pancakes in the stuff.

That being said, give me a drizzle of it, a subtle hint of maple sweetness, and you’ll see me smile (unless it’s the fake stuff – I stopped loving good ‘ole Aunt Jemima when I left my teenage years, sadly). That’s why I’m happy to be able to share with you this pear and quinoa salad today, because although it does use maple syrup for a light dressing, it’s very demure and not at all capable of putting you into a sugar coma. I made it for a Thanksgiving social that I went to while at school, and everyone loved it! It would also make a pretty nice meal all on its own in the warmer months, but seeing as how winter is settling in for the long haul, let’s just think of it as a warm, comforting side dish for now.

Maple-Tossed Pear and Quinoa Salad, courtesy of Gluten Free Goddess1
Yield: 6 side dish servings

The Ingredients
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups baby spinach
1 large ripe pear, chunked
½ cup cooked chick peas, chilled
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2-4 tablespoons pecans, toasted

The Method
For immediate service: toss together the spinach, pear, chick peas, parsley, and quinoa in a large salad bowl and fluff with a fork. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and maple syrup. Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa mixture and gently mix to coat. Just before serving, add in the toasted pecans.

To make ahead of time: add the vinaigrette to the plain quinoa while still warm, then allow it to cool to room temperature. Stir in the spinach, chick peas, and parsley, then chill until ready to serve. You may allow it to come to room temperature. Just before serving, toss the quinoa mixture with the pears and pecans.

1Although I don’t follow a gluten-free diet, I’ve found the recipes at this blog to be amazing. I’ve posted about a few of them already, and this quinoa salad may be my favorite so far. The baked goods are a little too involved for me (and, really, anyone who isn’t following gluten-free for actual health reasons), but all of the more savory dishes are enchanting. Plus, the entries are extremely well written and the photography is beautiful. Definitely check it out!



  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment