Julia Turshen's Now & Again

Charoset Quinoa

Charoset Quinoa
At a glance
  • 2 cups (360 g) quinoa
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (140 g) raisins
  • 2 crisp apples (such as Honeycrisp or Granny Smith), cored and finely diced
  • ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (120 g) walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • A small handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves (a little bit of stem is fine!), finely chopped

“I enjoy almost anything, but I like food that is cooked the day before,” the great Barbra Streisand once said. “It tastes better warmed up the next day.” Julia Turshen, the author of Small Victories and Feed the Resistance, is another woman who understands this deeply; her book Now & Again focuses on leftovers. She taught us how to cook this at a Great Jones event, and it’s the kind of healthy but nourishing recipe (it happens to be vegan and gluten-free) that you’ll want to make on a Sunday and eat all week long.

This quinoa side dish has all of the flavors of charoset, the mixture of apples, wine, and nuts that is a traditional part of the Seder plate. It’s especially perfect for Passover since it doesn’t include anything leavened. I also love it because you can serve it at room temperature, which means you can absolutely make it in advance.

Photo by Noah Fecks

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve (this may sound like an annoying step, but don’t skip it; quinoa has a natural coating that tastes soapy). Put the rinsed quinoa into a medium saucepan with 3½ cups (840 ml) water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, softened, and each grain has “spiraled,” about 12 minutes.

Transfer the quinoa to a large sheet pan and use a spoon to spread it out. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, wine, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the raisins, apples, and a large pinch of salt and stir well to combine. Cover and let the mixture sit until it cools to room temperature.

Next, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the walnuts and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are dark brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Photo by Noah Fecks

Transfer the raisins and apples and their liquid, the walnuts and all of their fragrant oil, and the parsley to the quinoa and stir well. Season the mixture to taste with salt. Serve the quinoa immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before serving (bring to room temperature, then taste and adjust with salt if needed).

Photo by Bridget Badore

Photo by Bridget Badore

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