quinoa + fig salad with basil dressing

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It may be sacrilegious to say this, but I can’t wait for autumn. Crisp mornings, terracotta leaves, sweater weather and hot coffee — I love the nip of day that only autumn can bring. But before I dust off the roasting pins and get crazy with pumpkins and apples, I’m savoring every last vestige of summer, which includes a fig and quinoa salad. Inspired by Tartelette’s Fig & Tabouleh version, I wanted to amp the fresh fruit and use up all the basil lodged in the back of my fridge.

And it was a success! Sweet and savory — the tough quinoa gets a full-on fruit massage with the bursts of berries and yielding figs. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups water
8 large figs, diced
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup blueberries
1 cup packed basil + 2 tbsp diced for garnish
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 garlic clove
1/4 + 2 tbsp cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS
In a large saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until all the water has been absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from the heat, fluff with a for and place in a large bowl to cool for 20 minutes. While the quinoa cools, blitz the basil, almonds, garlic and oil until the basil is chopped and the dressing is chunky. Normally, I would LOVE a pesto, but there’s something rough and rustic about a basil dressing. So, go easy on the blitzing.

Toss with the figs, dried cherries, blueberries and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste, and chow down ASAP.

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