Quinoa is my favourite base for creating a delicious salad but rewind a few years and it was impossible to find anywhere other than a health food store or online, but thankfully the rise in plant-based diets means that it’s now a whole more accessible and affordable. It may be stereotypical of a plant based diet but it’s so versatile and its ability to soak up flavours so well means that it’s perfect for this recipe. This Moroccan salad is one of my favourite ways to enjoy quinoa; flavoured with a moreish creamy lemon tahini dressing, Moroccan spice blend and packed with fruit, crunchy nuts and juicy sundried tomatoes – it makes the most satisfying side dish.
This flavour combination was actually inspired by my favourite shop bought falafels -whilst I love making a batch of either my Black Bean and Sweetcorn Falafels or Red Lentil and Sesame Falafels, I have to admit that the Aldi morrocan falafels (which are both vegan and gluten-free) are my go to – with an amazing spiced flavour and chunks of red pepper, apricot and dates I am so obsessed. But dare I say that the flavour combo is even better when recreated in salad form.
I know it’s something that a lot of people are apprehensive about but I love the addition of fruit to savoury dishes – this ones bursting with juicy raisins, sweet dates and apricots which make this salad so satisfying and delicious. The quinoa is cooked until fluffy before soaking up all of the flavour from the spices and creamy lemon tahini dressing – packed with flavour, crunchy nuts, juicy chunks of fruit and fresh coriander, this dish makes the perfect side.
This Moroccan quinoa works so well in a lunch bowl, either hot or cold, with falafels and a big spoonful of hummus but I personally love it served alongside my Pistachio, Date and Sweet Potato Kale Salad or chickpea and aubergine tagine for a delicious weeknight dinner.
I love seeing you recreate my recipes so if you make this, please let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to tag me in your photos on Instagram using @nourishingyas or #nourishingyas.
- 60g quinoa
- 1/2 can chickpeas
- tbsp raisins
- tbsp dried apricots
- 5 sundried tomatoes
- tbsp roasted, salted almonds
- 2 large medjool or deri dates
- tbsp chopped coriander
for the dressing
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsps tahini
- 2 tsps tamari
- 2 tsps olive oil
- 2 tsps tahini
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, paprika and turmeric
- Set a small pan over a low heat and add 1 cup of water. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa to the pan and leave to cook for 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
- Whilst the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place in a bowl.
- Drain the sundried tomatoes and using a kitchen towel, remove the excess oil. Chop them in to chunks and place them in to the bowl along with the chickpeas. Chop the dates, almonds, coriander and raisins and add these to the bowl too.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing everything together in a small bowl or ramekin, until smooth and creamy.
- Once the quinoa has finished cooking, remove from the pan. If you want to serve this cold, allow it to cool before mixing through the other salad ingredients. Mix through the dressing and enjoy!
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, where they’ll keep for up to 2 days.
If you liked this recipe then why not try my Roasted Cashew, Asparagus and Sweet Potato Kale Salad or Sweetcorn, Chickpea and Coriander Burgers.