Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds and Honey-Lemon Dressing

Pairing quinoa with the rich flavor of toasted almonds and a simple dressing of lemon, olive oil, and chives makes a dish I could eat almost every day. Crisping some of the quinoa adds interesting texture. I have enjoyed this topped with hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and alongside a piece of fish at dinner.


Serves 6 to 8


4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter

2 medium shallots, minced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

Kosher salt

1½ cups red quinoa

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons)

1 teaspoon honey

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ cup slivered blanched almonds

½ cup minced fresh chives


Cook the quinoa: Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of the butter, the shallots, and the garlic. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and cook until the shallots become translucent but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and cook until you hear it crackling, about 2 minutes. Add 31⁄2 cups water and stir gently. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a simmer. Then simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the quinoa to a bowl, and keep warm. 

Make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with 1 teaspoon salt and the honey. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and canola oil. Taste for seasoning.

Crisp the quinoa: Wipe out the sauté pan you used to cook the quinoa and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Heat the butter over medium heat until it melts and starts to brown slightly. Add a few tablespoons of the cooked quinoa and the almonds and sauté until they brown and become crispy, 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. 

Assemble the salad: In the bowl containing the vinaigrette, stir in the cooked quinoa, 1 teaspoon salt, and the chives. Top with the crisped quinoa and almonds. Taste for seasoning, and serve.

Recipes and photographs reprinted from The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Guarnaschelli

Photographs copyright © 2017 by Johnny Miller. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Order your own copy of The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli here.

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