Passover Side Dish: Fig, Almond & Mint Quinoa Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

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Quinoa is naturally gluten-free so it's a good substitute for grains full of gluten, if you have a food allergy in your family or friends joining you at your seder.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free so it's a good substitute for grains full of gluten,  if you have a food allergy in your family or friends joining you at your seder.

South American superfood quinoa has become a favorite in the U.S. in recent years and a trendy Passover side dish. Here’s how to add this superfood to your Passover dinner menu.

Quinoa: a Super Passover Side Dish

Did you know quinoa isn’t actually a grain? It belongs to a group of seeds also including amaranth and buckwheat known as a pseudocereals. Quinoa has been included in numerous superfood lists because of its nutrition. Also, Not only is quinoa kosher for Passover, but also extremely nutritious, containing more protein, calcium and iron than wheat. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free so it’s a good substitute for gluten-full grains in your Passover dinner menu so, if you have a food allergy in your family or friends joining you at your seder. Feel free to also leave off the almonds in this Passover side dish if there’s a nut allergy and swap in pumpkin seeds instead.

Rinse Your Quinoa

One thing that is important when preparing quinoa is to make sure to rinse it before cooking. That helps remove the outer coating, also known as saponin. That coating can make quinoa taste bitter or soapy, but the most important reason to rinse it off is that some people can be sensitive to saponins.

Layer Your Flavors

Here, earthy quinoa is combined with sweet figs and crunchy almonds – both foods that are especially symbolic in Jewish tradition making it a welcome Passover side dish. Cooking the quinoa in broth adds a layer of flavor. Then, mixing in mint, almonds, and our Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs add another layer of flavor before the final flavor add-in, tossing the quinoa salad in dressing. The sweet-tart lemon honey vinaigrette is also kosher for Passover, and if you don’t have lemons handy, you can always substitute any other citrus juice or bottled lemon juice.

Spoon the fig and almond quinoa salad into a wide low bowl or pretty plate. Leftovers—if there are any will be even better the next day, once the dressing has infused its flavor even more into the salad. This is one elegant side dish worthy of a spot on your Seder table (or to make throughout the year too).

Passover Side Dish: Fig & Almond Quinoa Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

For your Passover dinner menu, add our quinoa salad with California Dried Figs, mint, and almonds. This Passover side dish is good to make year round too.
Nutrition
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups dried figs
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 cup mint leaves

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons shallots
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water.Drain.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan until shimmering. Add drained quinoa and cook, stirring, until quinoa is dry and lightly toasted, about two minutes.
  • Add water or broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and cook quinoa, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and keep covered an additional 5 minutes.
  • While quinoa is cooking, make dressing: place lemon juice and zest,minced shallot, and honey in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  • While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Addressing to warm quinoa and toss to combine.
  • Add figs, almonds, and scallions to the bowl with quinoa. Slice mint into ribbons and add it to the salad. Gently toss all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper if needed.

Notes

Recipe and photos by Emily Paster

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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