Recipe courtesy of Kim O'Donnel's PNW Veg and this Seattle Times feature. A special thanks for her cooking demo at West Seattle!
¾ pound sweet cherries, stemmed, halved and pitted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 cup thinly sliced red onion or shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature
½ cup cooked brown lentils (from ½ cup dried), cooled to room temperature
1 cup leafy herbs (any combination of mint, parsley, basil, cilantro or sorrel),
stemmed and roughly chopped
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 ounces goat cheese, for garnish (optional)
1. Place the cherry halves in a small bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and cinnamon, and stir until the cherries are coated. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the onion in a small dish, and cover with the lemon juice. Let sit about 15 minutes.
3. Transfer the cherries and onion with liquids to a large serving bowl. Spread the quinoa in a layer over the top, followed by the lentils in a layer; do not stir. Finish off with a layer of herbs. Sprinkle the salt on the top.
4. Just before serving, using tongs or salad forks, gently mix the layers until combined. Drizzle with oil, then taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Garnish the salad with dollops of goat cheese. This dish keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.