Quinoa Salad with Baked Goat Cheese Rounds

The hearty grain, quinoa, joins forces with salad greens, sliced almonds, dried cherries and the piece de resistance, baked goat cheese rounds. Finish it all off with a tangy Dijon dressing, and this meal-in-a-bowl is the perfect remedy for all those suffering from severe hangryitis.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Quinoa and Goat Cheese Rounds:

1/2 cup quinoa

One 4-ounce herb-flavored goat cheese log

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup panko

Dressing:

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Assembly:

2 1/2 cups mixed salad greens

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/3 cup dried cherries

Directions

  1. For the quinoa and goat cheese rounds: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the quinoa with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the hull is visible, about 12 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set it aside to cool slightly.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, slice the goat cheese log into eight rounds.
  4. Add the olive oil to a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the panko and toast, stirring, until golden. Remove the breadcrumbs to a shallow baking dish and let cool slightly.
  5. Press the goat cheese rounds into the toasted panko, coating them on all sides, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until softened slightly, 4 to 6 minutes. While the goat cheese is baking, make the salad dressing.
  6. For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Season with additional salt and pepper.
  7. For the assembly: Combine the cooked quinoa, salad greens, sliced almonds and dried cherries in a large bowl. Add all or a portion of the dressing, tossing to combine. Plate the salad topped with baked goat cheese rounds and serve immediately.
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