I’ve been craving fresh beets since the fall. I am seriously thinking I need to move (back) to a climate where the growing seasons are longer so I have better access to the vegetables and fruits I obsess over.
The last shopping trip was quite successful with a bunch of beautiful kale for a great price and even a nice bunch of beets that looked great and were reasonably priced. Things are starting to look up. Winter is almost over, right?
I bought the beets not quite sure what to do with them but one early morning, post work-out, I was craving quinoa really bad. I knew that later I’d be wishing I had put some quinoa on to cook so I could make a salad out of it. I was expecting to make my go-to quinoa salad recipes like this one, or this one.
But then I saw those beautiful beets sitting in my fridge. I had to have them. In my salad.
Roasting beets is pretty straight forward. Roasting them brings out the natural sweetness and they get all caramelized and tasty. If you’re not into roasting them I suppose you could boil them too.
There’s more to this salad than just beets and quinoa but then how long of a title do I need to give this recipe?
- 3 small (or 2 medium) beets, trimmed
- Drizzle olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or 3 cups water + 1 veggie bouillon cube)
- 1½ cups quinoa
- 1 large orange, zested and juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
- ¼ red onion, minced
- ¼ cup toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place beets on double-strength aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Roast beets for about 30 minutes until just tender. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring vegetable stock to a boil over medium heat.
- Add quinoa and turn down to minimum and simmer for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
- Empty into a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Let cool.
- In a small mixing bowl combine, orange juice, zest, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Add pecans, red onion, roasted beets and fresh baby spinach to the cooled quinoa. Pour dressing over and toss well to combine.
This salad had a great mixture of textures and it was quite a hit. It kept quite well in the fridge for two days before it was all eaten up. The pecans give the salad a nice crunch against the smoothness of the roasted beets. The color, as you can see, is just beautiful. I love beets.