Orange-Scented Quinoa Salad with Pistachio Nuts & Dates


Preparation info

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This is a lovely fragrant salad that makes a wonderful addition to a help-yourself spread.

PREPARATION: 20 minutes
COOKING: 18 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling


  • 175 g (6 oz) quinoa, rinsed
  • 30 g (1 oz) shelled pistachio nuts
  • 70 ml ( fl oz) orange juice, plus the finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) mild extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 spring onions (scallions), very finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 large bunch watercress, tough stalks removed
  • 10 ready-to-eat dates, chopped


In a medium pan, bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water to the boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 18 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and spread out on a large plate to cool.

In a dry frying pan, toast the pistachio nuts until fragrant and starting to brown. Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.

To make the dressing, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, put the quinoa in a large serving bowl and toss with half the dressing. Fork through the orange zest, spring onions, herbs, watercress, dates and enough of the remaining dressing to coat. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or dressing if needed. Serve immediately.