Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets
As the warm weather hits, it is great to have some easy and delicious salads in your roster to serve up at backyard barbeques or for an impromptu dinner with friends. This salad is refreshing, packed with the flavor of oven-roasted beets, and enriched with the addition of chickpeas. Best of all for the warm weather–it requires little oven time and can be made the night before. Serve chilled.
6 beets, greens attached
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2 cups uncooked quinoa
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (1 lb and 13 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1 yellow pepper, small dice
1 cup sliced scallions
1 cup sliced green olives
1 lemon, juiced
Roasting the Beets:
(1 hour, can be done a day ahead)
Preheat your oven to 350 and thoroughly wash your beets and beet greens. Cut the beets away from the greens and rub with olive oil and add to an aluminum foil lined 8×8″ casserole dish. Add a 1/4 cup of water and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour (test the beets by inserting a paring knife in, if the beets are soft, they are done).
As beets are cooking, chop your beet greens and tender stems and add to a medium sized saute pan over medium heat. Saute with a tablespoon of olive oil until just starting to wilt. Reserve for later.
Allow beets from oven to cool, then put on some gloves (otherwise the beet juices will certainly stain your hands) then remove and discard the skin. Chop the beets into a medium dice and season with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon more olive oil.
(Takes 45 minutes)
Start by soaking 2 cups of uncooked quinoa in water for 15 minutes. Strain into a fine metal sieve (quinoa is small so will slip through a typical strainer). Cook in a medium sized stock pot with 2 1/2 cups of water (or soup stock to add more flavor). Season with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes then fluff with a fork.
Assembling the Salad:
In a large bowl add your beet greens, quinoa, chickpeas, yellow pepper, scallions, and green olives. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Plate into a large bowl and then top with oven roasted beets. Chill and serve!