Blue Cheese, Quinoa, and Arugula Salad



1/2 cup tri-color quinoa
2 oz. dried apricots
1 lemon
4 parsley sprigs
1/2 oz. light brown sugar
1 oz walnut halves
1/2 fl. oz. champagne vinegar
2 oz. baby arugula
3 oz. shredded red cabbage
1 oz. blue cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper


Bring medium pot with quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 14-16 minutes.  While quinoa cooks, coarsely chop dried apricots.  Mince garlic.  Zest lemon, halve, and juice. Stem and coarsely chop parsley.

Season and chill the quinoa.  Transfer cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Refrigerate until assembling salad.

Make the candied walnuts.  Add brown sugar, 1 tbsp water, and walnuts to a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until walnuts are coated in a sticky glaze, 3-5 minutes.  Sugar will melt and caramelize walnuts.  AS soon as walnuts are coated in a dark brown glaze, transfer to a plate immediately to prevent burning.

Make the vinaigrette.  Whisk garlic (to taste), 1 tbsp. lemon juice, champagne vinegar, half the parsley (reserve remaining for garnish), 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl.

Assemble the salad.  Add dressing, baby arugula, and red cabbage to bowl with quinoa and toss to combine.  Place salad on a plate. Garnish with candied walnuts, apricots, blue cheese, remaining parsley, add lemon zest.