Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Endive, Brussels Sprout Leaves & Toasted Almonds

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Quinoa Salad with Endive, Brussel Sprout Leaves & Apricots-0239-2

Everynight after my husband goes to bed, which happens to be pretty early these days considering he has to be to work at 5:00 am in the summertime, I head straight over to Hulu and hang out with my best friends: Ina, Giada, and Bobby.

And yes, in case you were wondering, we are on a first name basis.  They are pretty much my best friends and we do everything together.  We drink wine, throw cocktail parties, discuss cooking tips, have grill nights and champagne brunches, and whenever Ina leaves the room we always have a lot of fun, even though she tells us not to have any fun without her.

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Ok, so the part about us actually hanging out might be a little bit of a lie, but a girl can dream, right?!  Whether they know it or not (I’m 100 % sure they don’t know it) they have kept me company many a night.  I get so much of my culinary inspiration from cooking shows and if I could pick only one t.v. station to watch for the rest of my life, it would, hands down, be the Food Network and I would never get bored. 

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It was while watching Giada that I was inspired to make this salad. (Giada’s original salad recipe)  Giada’s aunt Raffy, who I find hilarious, was on the show and she exclaimed that she had never had a brussels sprout leaf salad before.  I love brussels sprouts so much and I eat them all the time, but I realized that I had also never had a brussels sprout leave salad before either!  

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I immediately ran out to the store, stocked up on brussels sprouts and came up with this salad.  I added quinoa to mine because I always like to throw some type of grain into my veggie salads so that I can eat it for dinners and lunches and still feel full.  And, I decided to throw some apricots in because I love the idea of combining fresh fruit with savory salads and I think that apricots and brussel sprouts work really well together, it also doesn’t hurt they they are bright and beautiful!

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I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and eating lot so delicious summer salads!  I know I am!


Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Endive, Brussels Sprout Leaves & Toasted Almonds

  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Salad, Gluten Free, Vegan


  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 head Belgum endive, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 apricots, sliced into small wedges
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse and drain the quinioa. In a medium pot, add the quinoa and two cups of water. Place on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed and quinoa is cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Remove the outer leaves from the brussels sprouts, you can save the insides for another use. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil, throw in brussels sprout leaves and cook for about 1 minute. Remove brussels sprout leaves and immediately throw them into a bowl of ice water. Let them sit for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.
  3. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  4. In a large bowl add the quinoa, brussel sprout leaves, sliced apricots, sliced endive, toasted almonds, and dressing. Mix until combined.


Inspired by Giada’s Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad


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I’m not necessarily one for dressing cats up in outfits, but you gotta admit that Cheeto looks pretty darn cute in his little tie!

tie 008

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  1. says

    Giada is my favorite too, Izzy! I own several of her cookbooks and have made a few of her savoury recipes. This salad sounds amazing! What a creative way to sneak in some endive, apricots, and quinoa all in one. Sounds delicious!

    • She Likes Food says

      Ohhhh, I need to get some of her cookbooks! I bet they are amazing! Basically everthing she does is amazing, haha! This is the first time I have ever used endive and I’m in love with it now! It is so crunchy and delicious and I can’t wait to use it more often!

  2. Mark says

    I love your comment about adding grains to salad to make them more filling, I’d never have thought of that! I’m definitely going to be trying this recipe of yours soon!!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Mark! Not only does quinoa actually have quite a bit of protein in it, I always just find grains to add a bit more bulk to the salad which fills me up a little bit more :) I hope you really enjoy this salad!

  3. says

    Seriously Izzy, you make the most GORGEOUS salads in the universe! This has got to be your best salad creation yet. The combo of apricots and brussels sprouts is sounding pretty good to me right now! BEE-yotiful photos as usual, girlfriend! Pinned. :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Sarah!! It is one of my favorite salads yet! The prettier the better! I always think of apricots and Brussels sprouts to be more of a fall/winter dish, but I think they work really well in this summer salad. Thanks so much, Sarah :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Bri! I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t think I ever have had raw brussel sprouts! I think I need to try a raw brussel sprout salad soon though because I bet it is delicious! Thanks for the tip :)

  4. says

    Hahaha so sad that I immediately connected with your best friends, what a coincidence they are some of mine too! This salad looks so yummy of course, and I love the toasted almonds on top! Your cat is so cute haha!

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha! If only we could all hang out together one day, Jessica! That would be awesome! Cheeto hated wearing that tie, but he looked so cute I couldn’t help but dress him up in it :)

  5. says

    I’m pretty obsessed with Giada…like, can we be friends? Can I be you? Why are you so damn peeeerfect! Ugh! I love this quinoa salad! So packed with flavor and nutrition!

    • She Likes Food says

      She is perfect, isn’t she! Especially her teeth and her big smile, haha! I have faith that one day we will all be friends and we will hang out together and drink wine in her backyard that just so happens to be right above the ocean! So glad you love this salad, Julia!!

  6. says

    Okay I looooove food, obviously. But I have never been able to get into cooking shows. I don’t know why!! But I am glad you found some you enjoy!! And this salad, what a crazy ingredient list! I wouldn’t have thought to add some of these things together, but it looks amazing!!

    • She Likes Food says

      I have to admit that I am pretty obsessed with cooking shows! I even have one playing in the background as I type this, haha! For some reason I just find them so soothing. They are the lazy person’s cooking magazine! I would never have thought to combine some of these ingredients either, but after Giada did it, I figured it must be good!

  7. says

    How did I not know those guys were on Hulu??!?? Serious game-changer! Also, this salad. I’m adding it to our meal plan this week!

    • She Likes Food says

      OMG! You must look them up! We don’t have cable so I’ve been watching Giada and Ina on Hulu forever and I just realized that Bobby Flay has a grilling show on Hulu and I’ve been watching it non-stop! They only have a few episodes at a time so sometimes I watch them over and over, but it really is a lifesaver! I hope you guys love this salad!!

  8. says

    You are the salad queen!!!! I love that this is such a Belgian and Canadian-esque salad with the addition of Brussels Sprouts and Maple Syrup :) Basically sums up my life in a salad!!! I love adding grains to my salads because it just makes them that much heartier!! Pinned :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, thanks Ceara!! That is funny, I didn’t even think about this salad being part Canadian, but I love it!! Brussels sprouts and maple syrup are so good together! I completely agree, when I add grains to a salad it gives me an excuse to eat it for dinner :) Thanks so much for pinning!

  9. says

    What a really beautiful combination of ingredients there are in this salad! I’ve never thought of putting brussels leaves in a salad before but guess what … now I will!
    Love the idea of the dijon and maple in the dressing as well :-)

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Helen! Thank you so much! I really loved using the brussels sprout leaves because they are kinda like lettuce leaves, but smaller and cuter! :)

    • She Likes Food says

      I had never heard of them either, but I figured if Giada is doing it, it must be good! And of course, Giada was right!

  10. says

    Ahh, I’m with you on the Food Network addiction… although I find myself getting over stimulated and wanting to recreate EVERYTHING! This salad looks so beautiful, I love the idea of throwing some sweet apricots in… so gorgeous!

    • She Likes Food says

      Isn’t it the best network ever?!! I feel overstimulated watching it as well! There are so many amazing things that the chefs make and I want to make everything! I pretty much have a book filled with all the recipes I want to try out! The apricots really made this salad! Thank you so much, Emma :)

  11. says

    Haha I could hang out with your friends all day too if I could :). Love this salad, Izzy! I am a big brussels sprouts fan and it sounds wonderful with the endive and apricots. The flavors sound so fresh and tasty and I love the gorgeous colors!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Kelly! Don’t you wish they were our friends in real life?!I’m a big brussels sprout fan too and I think I need to start eating them in salads more often! Thanks so much! :)

  12. says

    Hi Izzy,

    Another piece of salad art, no one here is surprised! I love the protein part- gotta have that or you’re left hungry. Yes to quinoa. But the brussels sprouts, what a great addition! I love B.S. (hmmm, that didn’t come out right, did it?) I love the toasted almonds and apricot addition, how yummy. The toasted almonds add that much needed crunch factor. Stunning visual appeal.

    Ok, so I’m with you on Ina. I love that F.N. show. I also love the Pioneer Woman Cooks, would totally make anything she does. But I’m not the biggest Giada fan, hope she’s not reading this right now, hehe. But I’d take your recipes any day over hers! I’ve tried several of her recipes and they bombed, maybe it was the cook. But Ina and Ree and now Izzy never let me down!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much Laura!! You’re so sweet! Quinoa always seems to be the perfect protein packed grain to add to salads! I love B.S too, haha! I love all things crunchy and love when I can add a crunch to my salads!

      I love the Pioneer Woman too, but unfortunately we don’t have cable and I haven’t been able to find her shows on the internet for free. Ina is definitely my favorite out of all of them! I’ve made a few things of hers and they are always amazing! Ha, I’m guessing that Giada is most likely not reading this, lol, that would be pretty cool though! Thanks so much for the sweet compliment, Laura! Your comment made my day :)

  13. says

    This salad is so beautiful! I love all the colors and wonderful ingredients.
    I too love watching cooking shows. I can sit for hours on end and watch show after show. I started watching some shows while I’m n the treadmill, but then I end up super hungry. Haha

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you Cindy! I could sit for hours watching cooking shows too and sometimes I do! I used to watch cooking shows while I ran on the treadmill at the gym and people would make fun of me for watching cooking shows while I exercises, lol. It did make me pretty hungry!

  14. says

    Wait, I thought Giada and I were BFFs?!! Lol, I too would have FN on all the time if I could! Unfortunately, in our house, two little munchkins overtake my desires and Peppa Pig ends up snorting all over the screen. Boooo.

    My husband will watch Giada with me sometimes, and he hates Aunt Raffy. It’s quite funny, actually, to sit and listen to him complain about how much she takes away from the show.

    This salad looks delicious! Anything with quinoa, and I’m in!!

    • She Likes Food says

      Lol! I’ll have to talk to Giada, but maybe we call all be BFFs together?! Uh oh, I’m not sure if I can have kids if that means no more being able to obsessively watch FN! I guess that Peppa Pig sounds good too!

      That is so funny about your husband! I remember my mom hating Aunt Raffy too for some reason. I think she is so funny though! Eric hates watching Giada and always claims that he won’t watch the cooking show if it has the woman who is always smiling on it, lol! I agree, I’ll eat anything with quinoa too!


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