This recipe is a testament to the infinite usefulness of leftovers; cold cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner form the framework for this hearty grain salad. I can’t think of a single vegetable that wouldn’t be a delicious addition, and for this particular version I used red onions, sweet peppers, fennel, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms that had been roasted for 45 minutes at 375 degrees the previous evening (a massive plate of roasted vegetables on a rainy Friday night is my idea of heaven). The black sesame seeds and hemp hearts add a nutty flavour and extra texture, both could be substituted with other seeds or nuts or even omitted entirely. There’s something about the taste of fresh citrus on grain salads that I love, especially during December when all of the lovely oranges are beginning to appear at produce stands in Vancouver. I used a Cara Cara orange for this salad because I love their bitter and only slightly sweet flavour but any type would work well, including my two other favourites, clementines and blood oranges. Serve this salad at room temperature either as is, or with avocado and orange slices gently stirred in on a bed of mixed baby greens. This quinoa salad will keep in the fridge for several days and therefore makes a great portable lunch or reliable dinner at the end of a long day.
quinoa salad with roasted vegetables:
2 cups of cooked quinoa
About 2 generous cups worth of cold, leftover roasted vegetables
1 leek, the white part only cut into very thin half moons
1/2-3/4 cup of Italian parsley, finely shredded
1/4 cup of dried cranberries or cherries, minced
2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. hemp hearts
creamy greek yogurt and orange salad dressing:
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. kosher salt
Generous pinch of freshly cracked pepper
- In a large salad bowl combine the quinoa, roasted vegetables, chopped leek, parsley, dried fruit, sesame seeds, and hemp hearts.
- Shake all of the salad dressing ingredients together in a glass jar and pour over the quinoa and roasted vegetable mixture stirring gently to cover.
- Allow the salad to sit for at least 15 minutes, serving at room temperature as is, garnished with orange and avocado slices, or on a large bed of mixed greens.
Of course I’m listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, good grief.
Skating – Vince Guaraldi Trio