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Quinoa Salad with Pistachios and Cranberries

A large wooden spoon with a scoop of quinoa salad with pistachios and cranberries being held over a white bowl filled with the salad.
Fran Gage

Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 20 mins
4 servings
369 kcal


For the sherry vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons not overly robust extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cold water

For the quinoa salad

  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions white and pale green parts thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped


Make the sherry vinaigrette

  • Place the shallots, vinegar, salt, and a few grindings of pepper into a small deep bowl, a coffee mug, or a 1-cup measure. Slowly pour 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil into the bowl, beating constantly with a fork. Beat in the water, then the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Make the quinoa salad

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Arrange the pistachios in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan and toast until you can just detect their aroma and they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let them cool to room temperature. Coarsely chop the pistachios.
  • Toast the quinoa in a skillet over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until it just begins to brown, starts to crackle, and smells a bit toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a pot, add the water and the salt, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the quinoa is soft but still has a little texture left in its center, about 15 minutes. The water should be completely absorbed.
  • Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and let cool. Add the pistachios, celery, scallions, and cranberries and toss. Dress the salad with the sherry vinaigrette. (If not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad but allow a little time to bring it to room temperature before serving.)