Although more colorful and nuttier, red quinoa has the same nutritional benefits as traditional cream-colored quinoa and should be used the same way. Dazzling pumpkin-colored persimmons are at their peak now and are available at most supermarkets. For this recipe, make sure you buy the Fuyu variety that's hard and shaped like an apple. If you can't find persimmons, use a crisp, sweet apple or pear instead.
Makes 4 main or 8 side servings
1 cup dry red quinoa
2 cups water
2 small Fuyu persimmons, diced, about 1 cup
2 cups warmed leftover shredded turkey, white and dark meat
1/4 cup lightly toasted pecans or walnuts
Crumbled blue cheese, optional garnish
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Add quinoa and water to a medium pot, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, persimmons, turkey and nuts and toss.
To make the dressing, in a small pot over medium-high heat, add cranberries and water. Cook until they begin to pop. Let cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Place both the cranberries and the oil mixture in a small food processor and puree. It's OK if it's a little lumpy. Pour the still-warm dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. Serve at room temperature, with blue cheese garnish if desired.