By Sandy Hu
Summer is a time to celebrate the bounty of luscious fresh fruits. While we tend to think of them as a snack for eating out of hand or in desserts, one of the best ways to enjoy fruits is in salads.
California Golden Raisin, Quinoa and Melon Salad features fragrant cantaloupes, which are at their peak from June to September. This salad brings together a variety of flavors in perfect balance: the fruitiness of melon balls with the spicy and savory chorizo, the zest of sherry vinegar, and bursts of concentrated tangy-sweetness from golden raisins. Mint and green onions add freshness. And the South American grain-like quinoa is the perfect foil for the bright flavors and colors.
This salad makes a lovely main dish for a simple luncheon, accompanied by a baguette and a glass of wine, enjoyed on the deck under a sun umbrella. Or double or triple the recipe for a festive summer buffet.
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California Golden Raisin, Quinoa and Melon Salad
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces Spanish chorizo, halved and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half moons
1/2 cup California golden raisins
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon light molasses
1 cup prepared quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup cantaloupe or honeydew melon balls
1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over high heat and sauté chorizo until warm and fat begins to render. Add raisins, vinegar and light molasses; stir until bubbly and liquid is reduced a little. Pour into bowl; stir in quinoa, melon balls, mint and green onions. Serve immediately or chill and serve cold.
Makes 4 servings.
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