Fresh cherry quinoa salad with pumpkin seeds and Gorgonzola dressing is a hearty, healthy meal

Sep 9, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Say hi to the cooler weather while still enjoying a big bowl of greens. This salad is jam-packed with fresh cherries, crunchy pumpkin seeds and quinoa, and is finished with a pungent Gorgonzola salad dressing.

Fresh cherries, sometimes sweet and sometimes tart, aren't just for snacking. Think about adding them to salads and side dishes for an unexpected pop.

In this recipe I decided to add fresh cherries to cooked quinoa for a rustic approach to a salad. It's great as a main course or as a side dish alongside grilled meats. The salty flavor of the Gorgonzola really balances the sweet-tart flavor of the fruit, while the toasted pumpkin seeds add a bit of a crunch. If you want to add even more flavor, try cooking your quinoa in vegetable or chicken broth rather than water.

Fresh cherry quinoa salad with pumpkin seeds recipe

Fresh cherry quinoa salad with pumpkin seeds recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Extra Gorgonzola cheese, if desired
  • Creamy Gorgonzola dressing (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, salad greens, fresh cherries and red onion.
  2. Mix well with tongs, and divide among 4 salad plates.
  3. Top each salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and extra Gorgonzola cheese, and then drizzle with the creamy Gorgonzola dressing.
  4. Best served immediately.

Creamy Gorgonzola dressing recipe

Yields 1-1/4 cups

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  2. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. 1 small shallot
  6. Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. To a blender, add all the ingredients, and blend on high until the dressing is smooth and there are no chunks.
  2. Pour the dressing into a jar, and cover it with a lid.
  3. Store up to 1 week in the refrigerator, and shake before using.

More fall-inspired recipes

Fall quinoa dishes
Fall cocktail ideas
Make-ahead meals for fall

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