For balsamic syrup, combine vinegar and sugar in heavy saucepan and simmer on low until reduced by half. Cool and pour into a plastic squeeze bottle; chill.

For salad, sauté garlic and onion in 2 ounces (1/4 cup) olive oil over low heat in a hot skillet for 1 minute. Add quinoa and sauté 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Stir in orange juice, lime juice, thyme and wine; simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes; then, chill thoroughly. Then, combine chilled quinoa mixture, raisins, almonds, basil and remaining olive oil in large mixing bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper and mix well.

For each serving, set a ring mold 4-inches in diameter by 6-inches high on serving plate. Layer ingredients into the mold starting with quinoa salad, then diced cucumber, follow with diced tomatoes, and top off with mixed greens. Remove mold and drizzle plate with balsamic syrup. Repeat until all plates are prepared.

Ingredients

Balsamic Syrup

  • 1 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup sugar

Procedure

Salad

  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) olive oil, divided
  • 8 Ounces quinoa
  • 3 Cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 Cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 Cup white wine
  • 1/4 Cup California natural raisins
  • 1/4 Cup California golden raisins
  • 1/2 Cup toasted almonds
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Cup seeded and diced cucumber
  • 1 Cup diced ripe plum tomatoes
  • 4 Ounces (about 1-1/2 cups) mixed baby greens

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 580 (Calories from Fat 40%); Total Fat 27 ( Saturated Fat 3; Trans Fat 0; ); Cholesterol 0; Sodium 35; Potassium 963; Total Carbohydrate 74; Dietary Fiber 6; Sugars 37; Protein 10; Calcium 137; Iron 6;

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California Raisins are naturally sweet, no-added sugar!