Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

I received this recipe from a friend and coworker who had taken a cooking class recently. She said that it was the most delicious dish the class had made that I knew I had to see what it was all about.

This was my first time making quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) and I was interested to see if I liked what it was all about. According to Wikipedia (hey, I do my research for you guys because I care), quinoa is a grain that is known for it's high protein content. It's also a good source of dietary fiber. This means good things for you and me. As any dieter knows, you want foods that are high in fiber and protein (especially protein because it keeps you feeling full) but low in fat and calories. Well, it doesn't get much better than this grain.

In this dish, I've combined roasted vegetables with the quinoa, but you could definitely grill them. For me, it's been pretty cold and rainy, so I opted for the oven. It was delicious, very filling, and wonderful both warm and cold. I feel like this dish will be making many appearances at summer bbq's and get-togethers this year.

I hope you try it and find it to be as different and refreshing as I did!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables
For the quinoa:
1C quinoa
2C chicken (or vegetable) stock

For the vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
3 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the vegetables:
Vegetables, cut into small uniform pieces (I used 8oz. portabella mushrooms, 1 small yellow squash, 1 small zucchini, 1 medium onion, 6 oz. cherry tomatoes)
extra virgin olive oil

finishing touches:
1/4 C Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 C pine nuts, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (for the veggies).

Heat the quinoa and stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low, and cover. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 - 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by putting the shallot, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl. Drizzle in oil while whisking constantly. Add cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper - adjust to your tastes.

On a sheet pan scatter the cut vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

**Alternately, you can grill the veggies if the weather is cooperating with you!

To assemble the salad, combine the quinoa, veggies, vinaigrette, parsley, and pine nuts in a large bowl. Toss to combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Enjoy!

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