Saturday was weird.

Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad I

I woke up four hours later than usual.

Ate three apples between the hours of 11AM and 4PM.

Made this quinoa because I wanted a fourth apple… but not plain.

Literally stayed in my pajamas until 8PM. (Uh, why did I get out of them?)

Drank a bottle of wine while watching the history channel… all by myself.

Spent a good 45 minutes after that searching for another JFK special to air.

Then watched my husband ingest an entire 1/2 gallon of fruit punch that he bought, spiked with rum.


He had to wear two Breathe Right strips to bed that night because have you ever slept next to a chronic snorer after they’ve had a few drinks? I could take my sleeping bag out to the nearest tarmac and receive a better night’s rest. That is no lie.

Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad I

And while I really found the highlight of that day to be my combined wine consumption and TV education (history was my major when I entered college…), lunch/dinner came in at a close second. Maybe it was because I am so obsessed with apples at the moment or maybe it was because I was generally starving or… maaaaaybe because it was the only substantial food that I ingested throughout the day (unless cookies count)… but it was good.

Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad I

During one of our lunches last week in Sonoma, we were served this incredible quinoa salad with some sort of citrus vinaigrette. It was so delicious that I instantly inhaled it and have been craving more ever since. Saturday seemed the perfect day to attempt a throw-together quinoa bowl given that it was only one week prior that I was sitting on top of a terrace looking at thousands of acres of vineyards… which you know, is basically comparable to sitting inside my house while the rain pours down outside, unshowered, undressed, and freezing because I refuse to turn on the heat yet.

At least I got the wine part right.


Couple all of that with the honeycrisp apples I found tumbling down the produce shelves in recent days, and I am in heaven. This time of year, I actually wake up in the morning craving juicy apples. It might just mean I’m dehydrated from all of that wine, but whatever… they are freaking delicious. And so was this. [/donotprint]

Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad I

Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad

serves 4

2 cups spring greens

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 medium apples, chopped

1 pear, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 pomegranate, seeded

1/4 red onion, chopped

1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook quinoa according to directions, then toss with tomatoes, red pepper, apple, pear, pom seeds, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. In a bowl, layer about 1/2 cup of spring greens then top with another 1/2 cup of quinoa. Finish by drizzling vinaigrette over top.


Citrus Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

In a bowl, whisk vinegar, lemon juice and zest, mustard, salt and pepper together. Stream in olive oil while constantly mixing until dressing has emulsified and thickened. Drizzle on quinoa.

Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad I

I love Fall.

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113 Responses to “Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad.”

  1. #
    Kerry — October 3, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    I’ve never had quinoa (I’m pretty sure I can’t even pronounce it right), but I’ve been craving apples lately & I really want to try this! It looks amazing. Honestly though: how do you live with/marry/stay sane/get sleep with someone with snores like a jet engine? I’m about to move in with my boyfriend & it’s this big fight we keep having. He snores, I end up on the couch, we both wake up angry & wanting to punch each other (lovingly) in the face. He doesn’t want to sleep separately… but I really like my sleep. Tell me it gets easier.


    • Cristy — October 4th, 2011 @ 7:38 am

      Good luck with that, Kerry! I’m married to a chronic snorer, and we have the same fight just about every morning. He’s all, “I couldn’t sleep all night! You kept elbowing me every second!” And I’m going, “Hello! You kept waking me up, hence the elbowing!” Endless loop repeats nightly. Good luck!


      • Mimi — October 4th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

        Ladies, it’s simple. You start out in bed with the jet engine and then get up in the middle of the night and move down the hall. After years of elbowing, etc we both get no sleep and it gets ugly. Now, he looks at me somewhat sheepishly and says “I guess I chased you out again last night?”. Note: it has gotten better since he stopped drinking beer (for whatever reason). It does get worse when he is in a place that has smoke….beer or no beer. Good luck!

      • Kat — December 20th, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

        ear plugs and make him use a neti pot before bed! It’s a lifesaver!

  2. #
    Paula @ Dishing the Divine — October 3, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    this looks delicious! I’ve been trying to find more creative ways to eat quinoa. Totally bookmarking this recipe!


  3. #
    what katie's baking — October 3, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    i haven’t been able to find a recipe for quinoa that i actually like. i just can’t get myself to like it, but this looks really good! i’ll be trying it!


  4. #
    Stephanie — October 3, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    i was going to bid on your brownies, but damn, they are already at $60. $20 higher than anything else in the bake sale.


  5. #
    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — October 3, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    apples are huge in our house right now too! This quinoa salad looks amazing :)


  6. #
    Bianca @ south bay rants n raves — October 3, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    Love quinoa! My recipe list for this newly popular grain is slowly growing now. Yes I know what it feels like to sleep next to a chronic snorer and it ain’t pretty. Also nice set up you got there with the quinoa!


  7. #
    christina @ ovenadventures — October 3, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    i am equally obsessed with apples. am eating one right now in my pj’s at 1 pm. lol


  8. #
    janetha — October 3, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    Apples and pears are SO GOOD RIGHT NOW. Great lookin’ recipe, Jess.


  9. #
    Kelly — October 3, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    Layered anything is gorgeous! And I love a good quinoa salad, especially w/ apples.


  10. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — October 3, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    I have been on a serious apple kick lately too. I can’t eat enough of them (or pumpkin flavored things for that matter, seriously I should incorporate other foods into my diet)! In fact I am dedicating this week to all apple recipes on my blog.


  11. #
    Ann — October 3, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

    Absolutely stunning! I have quinoa on order and it should arrive any day….


  12. #
    Ashley — October 3, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    I cannot WAIT to try this!!


  13. #
    Kara — October 3, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    You seriously make me crack up EVERY DAY! You are just too funny. I aspire to be as hilarious as you one day.

    Okay enough with the creepy blogger lovin…

    I cannot wait to try this, it looks absolutely ahhhh mayyy zingg. And your pictures are always so pretty! Teach me your ways!!


  14. #
    Katie — October 3, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    I need this so badly. I wake up craving apples year around – but they have to be wearing sweaters. And they have to be good – which I’ve yet to get many of this fall. I’m going apple picking soon and I will be eating this. Then drinking a bottle of wine. I’m easily influenced.


  15. #
    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 3, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

    This looks great! I still haven’t tried Quinoa, but I will soon!!


  16. #
    betty — October 3, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    looks so fresh, healthy and delicious! is quinoa kinda like couscous?


  17. #
    Katrina — October 3, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    That certainly IS a weird day. But I dig it. We all need strange, wonderful, apple filled days. You should’ve stayed in you jammies though. For reals.


  18. #
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — October 3, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    I’ve made those brownies. They are a drug all their own. :)
    Your quinoa salad is simply gorgeous.


  19. #
    Deanna — October 3, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    I made the salad and I love it! My favorite part are the apples – it’s like a sweet little surprise snuck in :)


  20. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — October 3, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

    BOOKMARKED! i havent had quninoa in so long! I had to take a break because I got quinoa-ed out from eating it so much during prep…now I need it back!! love you!


  21. #
    Valarie — October 3, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Honeycrisp apples are the reason I celebrate fall. They are AMAZING! My grocery budget doesn’t seem to approve, but I can NOT get enough of them! Your salad looks amazing…can’t wait to try it!!!


  22. #
    jordan @ thedancingdonut — October 3, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    this looks so refreshing! love the colors, too. thanks for sharing :)


  23. #
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest — October 3, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    I’ve decided that all of your recipes make me want to move in right next door and become your new best friend. Just thought I’d throw that out there.


  24. #
    Sonnet Gal — October 4, 2011 @ 7:05 am

    Actually drooled while reading your post…Honey Crisp with the Citrus dressing is what I think did it.


  25. #
    Stephanie — October 4, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    i made this last night, and it was awesome. and i was super proud that my emulsion stayed emulsified overnight. :) however, i pulled a Mr. How Sweet, and put chicken on it, and called it dinner.


  26. #
    Michaela — October 4, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    I love fall, too!! Currently, the weather here is so warm, and I am really annoyed, bc I just want to cuddle up on my couch with a blanket and a nice cuppa!
    To me it seems like a great sat :D
    And this recipe is awesome, cooking with apples is so much fun (they are my fav fruit, also).


  27. #
    Corinne — October 4, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Sounds like you spent Saturday doing exactly what you should have been doing – the weather was terrible!
    I’m impressed you decided to make something so delicious-looking after a bottle of wine. Pretty sure I would have stuck with the cookies and apples!
    Thanks for sharing this – I’ve been meaning to try Quinoa and I think I’ll be trying out this recipe this weekend!


  28. #
    Mimi — October 4, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    Jess this looks amazing! And I know what you mean about vineyard withdrawl….we’re having a wine tasting this weekend for my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday. I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing wine tastings for every occasion from now on….including when the dog gets back from the vets! Cheers!


  29. #
    Lisa {With Style and Grace} — October 4, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    Yum yum!! love how you put them in glasses, it’s perfect for entertaining [and it’s gluten-free] – can’t wait to make this!


  30. #
    kim — October 4, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    We love Quinoa, this looks so yummy! Just the thing for my vegetarian 12 year old. thanks for the great blog and recipes. laughing about the snoring- sounds so familiar……..


  31. #
    Dana@TheSundaySweet — October 4, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    I love anything with a citrus vinaigrette. I’m so happy it’s Fall too!


  32. #
    Jules — October 4, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Love quinoa. Also love honey crisp apples. This has become my apple of choice lately. We just did a poker-walk at our campground and afterwards our group had snacks to share. I took the honey crisps, pealed and chopped, put into a crockpot…added vodka :) , little bit sugar and cinnamon and let her cook up! Then took already made pie crusts, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, cut into squares bake untill litely browned. once cooled use the crisps to dip into the applesauce! Was a huge hit..none left for the midnight snacking!


  33. #
    Paula @ Dishing the Divine — October 4, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    I saw this recipe earlier and printed it. I’m afraid of quinoa ( :) ) but last night I started a huge batch of it to try with this salad and a few others. I think that if I could learn to like this weird grain, I’d be healthier, so here goes. Wish me luck! :)


  34. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — October 4, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Am I the only one that sees the irony in you using “spring greens” in an “autumn” salad?


    • Jessica — October 4th, 2011 @ 4:13 pm



  35. #
    Alison — October 4, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Amen Sista Friend! I live with a chronic snorer and TOTALLY understand what it’s like after a few drinks!

    P.S. Recipe looks DELISH! :)


  36. #
    Jill — October 4, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    I’m not a huge apple lover, but I just tried honeycrisps for the first time last week, and I AM IN LOVE.


  37. #
    CouponClippingCook — October 4, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    Love that you made the citrus vinaigrette with this. It sounds like a perfect match with the salad ingredients. Great idea to serve it in the glasses. (I think they are glasses)…they really show off how pretty the salad is.


  38. #
    Ann — October 5, 2011 @ 12:17 am

    This is ABSOLUTELY amazing! I have quinoa ordered and on it’s way and I can’t wait to start trying new things with it….


  39. #
    michelle — October 6, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    You had me laughing. I can drink a bottle of wine while watching The housewives of…and then whip up a batch of pumpkin muffins. At least that’s what I did last weekend. Gorgeous quinoa salad


  40. #
    Lane — October 12, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

    Hi Jessica!

    I love this salad but the vinegarette I made didnt look as tasty as your’s. Did you use OJ in your’s? It looks so much thicker and richer.


    • Jessica — October 12th, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

      hmmm, nope I didn’t use OJ, but I’m guessing it may have to do with the brand + color of mustards and olive oils. I used a very thick and creamy dijon and my olive oil was slightly darker too which may have resulted in it looking more creamy-like? I also whisk the heck out of it so it REALLY emulsifies.


  41. #
    Jen — October 27, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    I adapted this to a cranberry/apple/raisin salad and threw it on my blog today. I’ll try the original one day… when I like onions, peppers, and pomegranates. I’ve also used the leftover quinoa in three other impromptu salads with random stuff in the fridge. Delicious every time. Thanks!


  42. #
    Liz — November 1, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    Thank you for the beautiful recipe! Do you think it would work if I substituted kale for the greens?


    • Jessica — November 1st, 2011 @ 9:06 am

      I think so – I would suggest massaging some of the dressing into the kale before layering so it’s not quite as chewy and rough.


  43. #
    Shelley Alexander — March 16, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe! I love quinoa and this looks delicious.



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