Toasted Quinoa, Charred Onion and Brussels Sprout Salad


For this amped-up quinoa salad, Best New Chef 2014 Dave Beran tosses boiled quinoa and crunchy roasted quinoa with smoky charred onions, shaved brussels sprouts and piles of fresh herbs. Slideshow:  More Quinoa Recipes 

Toasted Quinoa, Charred Onion and Brussels Sprout Salad
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins



  • 1/2 cup white or red quinoa, rinsed


  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced


  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger


  • 1/2 small shallot, thinly sliced


  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Charred Onion Mix

  • 3 medium red onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed and dried

  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped mint

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • 1 1/4 cups grapeseed or canola oil

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, shaved on a mandoline

  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn

  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, torn

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • Kosher salt

  • Basil and mint leaves, mung bean sprouts and thinly sliced Fresno chiles, for garnish


Make the Quinoa

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet to cool.

Meanwhile, Make the Charred Onion Mix

  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet. In 2 batches, cook the onions over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until well charred, 18 to 20 minutes. Chop the onions; reserve 1/3 cup for the dressing. Transfer the remaining onions to a medium bowl.

  2. In a small skillet, toast the quinoa over low heat, stirring frequently, until it’s crunchy and starts to pop, about 5 minutes. Add the toasted quinoa to the charred onions in the bowl, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Make the Dressing

  1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients along with the reserved 1/3 cup of charred onions. Puree until smooth. Strain the dressing into a small bowl.

Make the Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and garnishes. Add the cooled quinoa, charred onion mix and half of the dressing, season with salt and toss. Transfer the salad to a platter and top with the garnishes. Serve the remaining dressing on the side. make ahead The quinoa, charred onion mix and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight.

Make Ahead

The quinoa, charred onion mix and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight.

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