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Quinoa Salad With Cherries

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Juicy cherries star in this stellar Summer salad that's great whichever way you enjoy it: still warm from the stove, at room temperature as part of a picnic or potluck spread, or even as a brown-bag lunch you'll look forward to all day. Even better, this versatile salad can — and should — take shape from whatever looks best at your market; feel free to swap other varieties of stone fruit like peaches, plums, or nectarines for the cherries.

Cooking Recipe

2 cups cherries
Kosher salt
2 cups quinoa
3 tbsp minced shallot
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1. Pit the cherries into a small mixing bowl, and let sit while you make the quinoa. (Some of their juices will drain into the bowl.)

2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, add the quinoa to a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly under cool water. Add the quinoa to the boiling water, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the quinoa is just barely al dente. Strain it using a fine-mesh strainer.

3. Add an inch of water to the quinoa pot, set the fine-mesh strainer (with the cooked quinoa still in it) inside the pot; make sure the quinoa doesn't touch the water. Cover with a dish towel and the pot's lid, turn the heat up to high, and steam for 3-5 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and no longer waterlogged. Turn the quinoa out into a large mixing bowl, and fluff it up with a fork.

4. Slice the pitted cherries into thin rounds, and set aside in another small bowl.

5. Add the minced shallot, red-wine vinegar, olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl that the cherries were pitted into (to make use of the cherry juices). Whisk to combine.

6. Drizzle the dressing over the warm quinoa; add the parsley, feta, and almonds; and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt.

Quinoa Salad With Cherries
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