Do you eat with your eyes? I do. Things that look beautiful just taste better to me, and I like a dish to catch my eye before my taste buds. Is that superficial? I’m talking about food, not people, so I think it’s perfectly acceptable. This Roasted Beet, Orange and Greens Quinoa Salad delivers the pretty factor and packs an extremely light, fresh flavor that is perfect for Spring.
Beets – golden, burgundy, white with pink spots – whatever color they may be, are GORGEOUS. Sure, they may stain your fingers and your cutting board, but the messy part is totally worth the end result. Earthy and slightly sweet, I like to tell my kids they are “nature’s candy” (only my 1 year old, who doesn’t even understand that, seems to believe me). Look at these beauties…
Do you know what goes well with beets (not just in terms of looks, but also flavor)? Goat cheese and oranges! Sure, beets are delicious on their own roasted, raw, or pickled, but goat cheese and oranges just pump up their deliciousness. Now that Spring has sprung and I’m in the mood for lighter meals, I decided to throw that tasty trio together with some quinoa, red onion, and beet greens and dress the whole thing with an orange balsamic dressing. AMAZING (my 1 year old agrees)!
ROASTED BEET, ORANGE & GREENS QUINOA SALAD
- 3 cups prepared quinoa
- 3 beets, roasted and diced
- 1 orange, segmented and diced
- red onion
- goat cheese
- orange balsamic dressing
First, trim the greens from your beets, but don’t throw them away! Soak them, rinse them, and let them dry (we will use them later). I mean, look at this color!!!
Then, roast your beets in foil at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a knife.
While your beets are roasting, zest your orange and segment it over a bowl, saving the juice.
I always have a jar of this balsamic dressing in my refrigerator, so I just added the fresh orange juice and zest to it. If you don’t already have dressing made, now would be a good time to do so! (I highly recommend keeping a jar of this dressing in YOUR refrigerator too.)
Once your beets are done and have cooled down a bit, simply rub them under some cool water to remove their skin. Then, dice them up. While you’re at it, dice up your oranges, chop up some red onion and the beet greens.
Add the beets, oranges, red onion, and greens to a large bowl with the quinoa and top with some goat cheese. Add dressing and toss. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Spoon salad into bowls and top with additional goat cheese (if desired).
Look how the beets “dyed” the quinoa a beautiful soft pink… gorgeous AND delicious!
NOTE: Sorry for not providing exact measurements in this recipe, but you really just add as much or as little of everything as you would like. Maybe you want to add more oranges or goat cheese? Go ahead! Add as much dressing or as little dressing as you see fit. It’s totally up to you.
And see, baby-approved!