Lemon Cumin Quinoa with Avocado and Raisins

A few weeks ago John and I decided to search for a quinoa recipe. It was still a little cool outside for this recipe, but it would be perfect for a summer potluck, or as the side to a summery meal.

The little pieces of avocado stayed green for a long time, since there's so much lemon juice in this salad. Somehow they tasted like butter to me in this mixture of flavors. I'm not the biggest fan of anything lemon flavored, but it was really delicious. I'm sure we'll make it again when the weather gets hot and humid.

Lemon Cumin Quinoa with Avocado and Raisins
from Erin's Food Files


3 Tbs. raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden), or currants
2 Tbs. dried apricots, thinly sliced
1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well
Kosher salt
1 large lemon
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 medium firm-ripe avocado (6 to 7 oz.), pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (I omitted)
2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds (I used sliced almonds)
Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (The outer germ rings of the grain will remain chewy and white. Some germ rings may separate from the grain and will look like white squiggles.) Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze 1 Tbs. juice. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


  1. I may come to you in the near future asking for any simple, yet delicious recipes you have for quinoa as I feel it is important that I add it to my diet.

  2. Feel free! It's good for you, and just a little bit of dry quinoa makes a lot.