Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Roasted Root Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

It's beginning to feel like spring here in the Pacific Northwest. It's the first time in my life that I'm not experiencing a Northeast spring, and I can say it's a little different here. There are daffodils and crocuses and blossoming fruit trees in people's yards already! I just know that my peeps in New York are still waiting for the temperature to climb and the last of the snow to melt. To them, spring is still a ways away. So I guess I'm still feeling winter with all of you Northeasterners, and I'm still into the root vegetables. For now, at least.
This salad was put together on a whim after I picked up some pretty little beets at the farmers market on Sunday. Their vibrant colors reeled me in and I just couldn't resist. I roasted them along with some parsnips, carrots, and onions and tossed the whole mix with quinoa, walnuts, and greens. I wisked up a honey dijon vinaigrette and voila! A grounding, hearty salad to welcome the chilly misty air of early spring. I can imagine this salad being super delicious with some crumbled goat cheese over top, as well. Just a thought.
Root vegetables are incredibly delicious when they're slowly roasted, as the sugars within them caramelize and concentrate. I like roasting a bunch of root vegetables in the beginning of the week and then add them to salads throughout the week. They're a great way to bulk up any meal. And what's even better is that they're packed with nutrition at a very affordable price!
Roasted Root Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

For the Salad:
7 small beets, peeled and cut into cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into cubes
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into cubes
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil for roasting
sea salt
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa yields 2 cups cooked)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 large handful cilantro or parsley, roughly chopped
3 handfuls of mixed salad greens

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toss the carrots and parsnips with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Spread them on half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss the beets with olive oil and salt and put them on the other half of the lined baking sheet. (Keeping the beets separate from the carrots and parsnips helps to prevent all of your vegetables from turning red from the beets).

2. Combine the onion and garlic with some olive oil and salt and put them on a separate parchment-lined baking sheet. Put both pans in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the root vegetables are tender and the onions are soft. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

2.  In the meantime, combine the cooked quinoa, cooked chickpeas, salad greens, cilantro (or parsley), and walnuts in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl and toss lightly just to combine. Serve on plates or bowls with lots of the delicious honey dijon dressing poured over top.

For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a few pinches of salt, to taste

1. While the vegetables are roasting, combine all of the dressing indredients in a bowl. Wisk until the dressing is emulsified. Alternativeley, add all the dressing ingredients to a small mason jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake well. Taste the dressing and adjust to your liking (add more mustard, more honey, more olive oil, etc...) Pour the dressing over the finished salad and enjoy!

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1 comment:

  1. Yum! I'm pinning this lovely recipe!