Farmers Market Inspo: Quinoa Salad With Roasted Vegetables

Farmers Market Inspo: Quinoa Salad With Roasted Vegetables Hero Image
Photo: Chelsea Cavanaugh

If you have ever found yourself in that most familiar of circumstances—i.e., staring at your farmers market bounty without a clue about how to use it—remember this golden rule:

When in doubt, quinoa. This salad, for instance, was invented on the fly, on a night before we were traveling and wanted to use up every last bit of our CSA loot. (Being part of a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, means we get a box of produce every other week in exchange for investing in the farm where it grew.)

We had just a small amount of each vegetable—a few carrots, a beet or two, a tiny fennel bulb, little herb bouquets—but it was all easily stretched into a vegetarian dinner by tossing with quinoa and a good vinaigrette. (Note: If you have quinoa haters in the house, you might consider the other golden rule, When in doubt, quesadillas.)

Quinoa Salad With Roasted Vegetables, Feta + Herbs

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

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  • 5 to 6 medium-large carrots, washed, peeled, and halved lengthwise if on the thicker side
  • ½ small fennel bulb, cored and sliced into thin rounds, about ¼ inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons good-quality olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 to 6 beets, any color, ends trimmed, wrapped in foil
  • 1 small onion, sliced (about 1¾ cup)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pepitas or pistachios
  • ⅔ cup Basic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with foil.

2. In the prepared pan, toss the carrots and fennel with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the coriander, and salt and pepper. Place in the oven along with the foil-wrapped beets, and roast until the carrots are tender, golden, and lacquered but not burned, and the fennel is tender, about 30 minutes. Keep the beets in for another 20 to 30 minutes or until a knife easily slips through one. Allow to cool, then peel and quarter.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet cook the onion in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat until caramelized and brown (but not burned), about 25 minutes. While it cooks, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the quinoa, stir, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat and cook for 13 to 15 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and remove to a bowl. Toss in the butter right away. Let cool.

4. In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, carrots, beets, fennel, onion, feta, pepitas, and vinaigrette. Top with the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Basic Vinaigrette

Makes ⅔ cup

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (or red wine or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup good-quality olive oil

Preparation

Add the mustard, vinegar, shallot, lemon juice, sugar, and salt and pepper to a small jar and shake vigorously. (Or whisk together in a small bowl.) Add the olive oil and shake or whisk again until emulsified.


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