This refreshing salad is made with quinoa, apple, celery, red onion, golden raisins, cilantro, mint, lime, garam masala and curried cashews.
Note: While the ingredients here work well together, feel free to have fun with this salad by using whichever vegetables and aromatics you like. Just keep in mind the color and texture of the vegetables—this salad is meant to be bright in color with a bit of crunch.
To prepare your mise en place, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
To start, cook the quinoa. Bring the stock, quinoa and salt to a boil in a small pot. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Keep covered and let rest for about 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. *Note: If using plain water, be sure to season the water with a pinch or two of sea salt.
Note: This recipe is even better if made with this Garlic-Fried Quinoa.
Next, mix the cashews with the oil, curry powder and salt. Toss to fully coat the nuts with the curry powder. Place into the oven and roast until just lightly toasted. Alternatively, the nuts can be dehydrated for a few hours in a dehydrator.
**Note: Again, feel free to play with the spices that you add to the nuts. Also, if you like a little heat, add a bit of cayenne or chili powder, for an added kick. Alternatively, you could use this recipe for Curried Cashews.
Lastly, gather and prepare the remaining ingredients.
To start, heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the kale and a pinch of salt. Sweat for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the leaves are wilted but still bright green.
*Note: If desired, omit the oil and sweat the kale with a bit of vegetable stock or water. Alternatively, the kale can be added to the salad raw; however the slightly wilted kale does add another welcome texture to the salad.
To assemble the salad, place the quinoa into a large shallow bowl and toss with the kale. Next, add the celery, onion, jalapeño, apple, lime (zest and juice), raisins, cilantro, mint, garam masala, salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, jalapeño, garam masala and/or lime juice, as desired.
**Note: For added depth of flavor, try adding a few good pinches of black salt (also known as Kala Namak or Sanchal). This purplish/pinkish-grey salt is a special type of Indian volcanic rock salt.
Black salt is used in Indian cuisine as a condiment and adds its distinctive flavor to fresh salads called ‘chaats,’ chutneys and other snacks, such as pakoras.
Lastly, lightly fold in half of the cashew nuts. Then garnish the top of the salad with the remaining nuts and serve. While this salad is nice while slightly warm, it is equally delicious cold.
This salad is a great potluck or make ahead salad. If preparing ahead, it’s best to cut and add the apples at the end, so they maintain their crunch and color —the cilantro and mint are also best added at the end. That being said, any leftovers of the final salad are still delicious.