- To toast the pistachio nuts, preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the pistachio nuts in a single layer in a small pan and roast until you can just detect their aroma and they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Let them cool to room temperature, then chop them coarsely. (This can be done ahead.)
- Toast the quinoa in a medium skillet over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until it lightly browns, starts to crackle, and smells a bit toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a pot, add the water and the salt, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the quinoa is soft but still has a little bite, about 15 minutes. The water should be gone.
- Transfer the grain to a bowl and let it cool. Add the pistachio nuts, celery, scallions, and cranberries and toss everything together.
- If not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad, but bring it to room temperature before serving.
Directions for the vinaigrette
- Put the shallots, vinegar, salt, and a few grindings of pepper into a small deep bowl, a coffee mug, or a 1-cup measure. Slowly pour 2 Tbsp. of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil into the bowl, beating constantly with the fork. Beat in the water, then the remaining 2 Tbsp. of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil. Taste for seasoning.