Spiced Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

March 20, 2015 | By | Reply More

roasted carrot and quinoa salad

Here we sit on this fence between winter and spring, and I’m craving anything that resembles garden-fresh food. Thank goodness for the humble carrot and its magical ability to keep in my fridge for weeks at a time and bagged salad greens from the grocery – I can combine them with pantry items and create something so tasty and  and colorful, I think I might have jumped that fence.

This roasted carrot and quinoa salad from Food and Wine is as beautiful to look at as it is delicious. Basically, you mix up a bunch of aromatic spices and then you use that spice blend at various stages of the cooking and assembly of the salad. So, the fabulous flavor infuses every forkful. It’s really good when served as a side with roasted wild salmon or other fish. Or, to make a light Meatless Monday main dish, add a crusty baguette with fruity olive oil for dipping.

Ingredients (Serves 6 as a side dish, or 4 as an entree)

2 tsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise, like ribbons

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

7 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 cup quinoa (red quinoa makes the salad even prettier!)

2 cups water

2 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided

5 ounces mixed salad greens (try arugula, leaf lettuce, spinach, frisee)

1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Step one: 

2 tsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise, like ribbons

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

roasted carrot and quinoa saladPreheat oven to 400°. Make the spice blend: combine paprika, turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and cardamom in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss carrots and red onion with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the spice blend to coat. Spread vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Make the quinoa in the meantime.

Step two:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with the water and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Step three:

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

5 ounces mixed salad greens

1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Add the salad greens, toss to coat and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of the spice blend, and season with a little salt. Add the roasted carrots and onions, reserved quinoa, walnuts, cranberries, and parsley and toss to coat.

Arrange salad greens on individual plates or in shallow bowls and top with roasted carrot and quinoa salad.

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Category: Food, General, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Winter

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