Recently I had this salad from Cookbook (thanks, Ali!) that lingered in my mind for weeks. Couscous with chickpeas, roasted beets and bitter frisee. I was particularly excited because I’m very picky about beets and we’re always getting them in our CSA. I did a little digging on ye ol’ internets to see if any recipes out there were similar until I decided on one to try. Not only did it work out once, but I’ve made it three times since – sometimes as a side, sometimes as a main dish when I’m feeling particularly in need of a healthful meal.
This recipe uses quinoa instead of couscous, which is great because I try to eat as little wheat as possible as my body prefers it. And with the exception of the quinoa and chickpeas, I used all veggies from our CSA, so no frisee for me, but the greens used in this recipe can be substituted for really anything – this recipe I worked with called for spinach and I’ve used kale, chard and arugula. Also, the first time I made this I used a little bit of sweet potato as I had one little guy on hand. It’s delicious but not necessary. The recipe I found also includes oranges, which I think is the biggest winner in this salad. We had just been sent these incredible sweet pink Cara Cara oranges in the CSA the first time I made this that made the salad downright pretty. But regular navel or mandarins are great as well.
Let’s get to it:
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas and Orange
adapted from Gluten Free Goddess
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 beets, peeled and quartered
optional: 1 small sweet potato
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 cup drained rinsed chick peas
2 big handfuls of dark greens – spinach, kale, chard, frisee, arugula, etc. (I sauté the kale or chard a bit first)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Toss the beets (and sweet potato if you’ve using it) with olive oil and sea salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until tender – roughly 30-40 minutes. While the beets are baking, make your quinoa. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa on the stove or rice cooker.
To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, orange juice, tamari/soy sauce, vinegar, and honey/agave in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk. Set aside.
Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and greens. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
Gently add in the roasted beets and orange pieces. The beets will stain everything red if you mix too vigorously!
Optional: top with slivered almonds or goat cheese.
Photo by Kate Miss, taken with a Mamiya 645AF with Kodak Portra 160 film.