Fresh pineapple is a treat around here. Savoring every bit is not difficult because it is eaten with gusto. If there happens to be a little left over, this salad is a super way to use it. Healthy quinoa, lovely mandarins and sweet, chewy dates all tossed in a lightly sweet dressing. It's a keeper.
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
3 mandarin oranges, peeled
1/3 cup sliced dates
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/4 teaspoon vanilla salt (or kosher salt)
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or other vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Bella Vatino Balsamic cheese (or Swiss cheese)
Place the quinoa in a serving bowl. Add the pineapple. Cut the orange segments in half and add to bowl. Add the dates. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over salad. Toss to coat.
Hints: Use quinoa cooked in plain water not stock. Have the pineapple in about 1/8 inch dice. Juicier mandarins are better. Vanilla salt can be made by splitting a vanilla bean and placing it in a jar with kosher salt for several days. It is lovely on salted caramel dishes. Taste the dressing and add more lime juice if you like. Or Salt. Or anything else. I buy the cheese at Costco.
This is a very refreshing salad and gives a hint of Spring. I served it with Braised Pork and Scallop Potatoes and Carrots.