A lightly sweet cumin-spiced dressing fills this arugula salad with flavor, while avocado, apricots, quinoa & chickpeas make it hearty & satisfying.
I’ll never get tired of an arugula salad with avocado and quinoa. They’re probably my favorite three ingredients to use. I love this sweet combo of dried apricots, peppery arugula, smoky cumin, and fruity Arbequina Olive Oil. (I almost named this Arbequina Quinoa – but try to say that one five times fast).
The Key to a Good Arugula Salad is a Good Dressing
The cumin-spiced salad dressing really makes this salad shine, and its key ingredient is Arbequina Olive Oil. So what’s Arbequina Olive Oil? It’s a light and fruity extra-virgin olive oil that’s perfect for flavorful dressings like this one. Coincidentally, I’ve been buying it long before the folks at California Olive Ranch started sending it to me. Try it, I promise you’ll love it. (I usually get mine at Whole Foods). You can also use any quality extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe.
The dressing here is a simple Moroccan-inspired combination of cumin, garlic, lemon, and honey. If you’re vegan, you can use maple syrup in place of the honey, and the dressing will still have the sweet, spiced flavor that perfects this salad. Its flavor is especially good against the chewy dried apricots and toasted almonds.
If you love salads as much as I do, check out many many more in the salad section of our recipe index!
Arugula Salad with Quinoa, Apricot & Avocado
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- juice of 1 medium lemon
- ½ to 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup, if vegan
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- a few big handfuls of arugula
- ¼ cup dried apricots
- 1 small avocado, cubed
- ¼ cup chopped, toasted almonds
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lemon, honey, cumin, chives, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, chickpeas, arugula, dried apricots, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Drizzle in ¾ of the dressing and toss again. Top with the avocado, chopped almonds, chives, and drizzle the remaining dressing. Season to taste and serve.
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I’ve made this salad three times so far, but could eat it often. When I’ve been out of one ingredient or another (apricots, chives, arugula avocado), I’ve substituted something else (raisins or cranberries, scallions, mesclun) or gone one without it (avocado) and it’s still been amazingly bright and tasty. The dressing is delicious and can be used on other salads too. My kids, 20’s and 30-something foodies, love this salad! Thanks for posting the recipe!
This is the best salad I have had in a long time! I would have never thought to put cumin in the dressing but it really made it. This will be on repeat 🙂
I’m so glad! It’s one of my favorites – I just love the little bit of warm spice the cumin adds.
This salad sounds absolutely wonderful. However I wish you had used apricots without sulphur dioxide added – you know the brownish ones that are so soft and sweet. I realize the colour is not as appealing as the sulphured ones, which is why they do that, but there are many of us who cannot tolerate sulphur. I would prefer the organic apricots anyway which would not contain this drug which can be life-threatening to some!
Nice recipe for quinoa arugula and apricot salad, especially for the summer months. Looks so healthy and delicious. Thanks.
Made this last night along with many other salads…. This one stole the show,, soooooooo good….thanks for the recipe!
This salad was delicious! I made it with fresh apricots rather than dry since they’re in season. I gota say though-this dressing had way too much garlic for me! one glove or less would do the trick next time.
thanks, I’ll note that about the garlic in the recipe (I guess I like a lot of garlic!)
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How many servings does this make??
about 2 as a meal, 3-4 as a side
Thank you so much for your quick reply! Can’t wait to make it!
This was fantastic. I used fresh apricots instead of dried, and added some fresh green onions as I had them handy. Great salad. Thank you!
so glad you liked it!
We had this delicious salad this evening. Thanks!
so glad you liked it!
Wow, this sounds like the perfect salad for hot summer days. Can’t wait to try this recipe!
I made this tonight, and I’m so glad I did! It was light, refreshing, delicious, and unexpected with the cumin in the dressing. Thank you! 🙂
thanks for sharing – glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Awesome! I’ve been throwing some dried papaya in my chopped salads lately and it is seriously the most delightful surprise when you get a bite. 🙂
I love a little pop of sweetness in salads!
I love all your recipes, especially your salads, but I’ve got a rather silly question – how do you keep the quinoa in each bite of your salad? I find when I make salads with quinoa, I can’t get any to stay with the leaves and other goodies, and so it’s more like a bowl of quinoa at the end of a nice salad. (Not that it’s horrible, but still – seems like a bit of a waste!)
Ha, I’m not sure I’ve noticed that problem :). Try tossing the greens with the quinoa while it’s still a little bit warm (not hot) – it’ll wilt them slightly and help everything stay together.
This looks delicious! Any suggestions of what I could substitute for cumin in the dressing? (It’s one spice that I’m lacking in my cupboard at the moment) Maybe turmeric?
I think turmeric would be great (maybe with a pinch of cayenne for some heat, if you have some ground corriander, that would also be nice with turmeric). OR Paprika would work too (if it’s smoked paprika, start with less, add more to taste).
Thanks Jeanine! Can’t wait to try it!
sounds so yummy. is the cumin in the dressing whole or ground?
many thanks for your speedy reply – on the menu now for my lunch!