Anna Zepaltas grew up preparing tamales in her mother’s Southern California kitchen, but she also loves Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Cumin, coriander and cardamom punch up this salad, inspired by a favorite dish at Chloé’s French Café in Santa Rosa, California.
Slideshow:More Terrific Quinoa Recipes
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 ounces mixed salad greens
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk the paprika with the turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom and 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the carrots with the onion and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender.
Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 17 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the oil with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Add the salad greens and toss to coat. Spread the greens on a large platter. In the same bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the zest, mustard and 1 teaspoon of the spice mix; season with salt. Add the quinoa, walnuts, cranberries, parsley and roasted vegetables and toss well. Spoon the quinoa salad on the greens and serve.
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Review Body: I have been looking for savory quinoa recipes that aren't just switching out rice for quinoa. This is a winner for sure, as a meal, not a side. I will note that I found that the long carrot strands tended to tangle so that the carrot wasn't well distributed, so would suggest shorter strands (half as long?) or angled coins. And the sweetness of the carrots and onion means that you won't notice it if you don't add the cranberries.
There are several steps but they break down easily. And the recipe does well at room temperature served over the dressed greens: I mixed up a jar of the spices so that all I have to do is spoon out the necessary amounts; the carrots and onions can be roasted ahead of time, as can the walnuts (I prefer to toast in a pan and upped to 2/3c); the quinoa (I use white, not red) can be allowed to cool more than the 'slightly' in the recipe, and if your quinoa is a little wet just spread it out on a cookie sheet and let cool and dry a bit (adding the dressing mixture later on) - so it can be cooked in advance too.
For me, the longest effort is cutting enough carrots (I have cut the carrot back by one and upped the onion a bit) and picking through the salad greens for wilted or slimy bits (or else buy freshest and use asap).
I love it and everyone I have introduced it to have as well - the consensus is that it is the best quinoa recipe they have had - and given that it is also vegetarian, it is a great meal choice when feeding a mixed group of eatists.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-07-16
Author Name: LisaClark719
Review Body: I chose this dish because of the healthy ingredients. I had all of the ingredients on hand except for the dried cranberries. I wound up using some dried apples instead. It was delicious and healthy! My guests wanted the recipe, so I sent them the link. I will definitely put this on my list of favorite dishes to make.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2016-09-19
Author Name: Kmsmith2333
Review Body: Disappointed. This was a ton of work and dirty dishes for just an okay result. I expected great flavor, especially with the spice mixture, but it seemed to be lacking something. Won't be making again.