No more boring quinoa salad recipes! Fresh orange zest and juice go into the bold, bright vinaigrette for this beautifully plated restaurant recipe.
- 1 cup quinoa
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 large oranges, divided (1 zested and juiced, and 1 peeled and cut into segments)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- Micro or baby arugula
- Thin slices of candy cane beet (optional)
- Bring the quinoa, vegetable stock, and 1 pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Once done, drain in mesh strainer, and set aside.
- Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the red onion. Cook until it softens and the aroma mellows, about 2 minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini, and red bell pepper, and continue cooking for about 2-4 minutes longer. You want your vegetables crunchy and not too cooked! Season with salt and pepper. Put the vegetables in a tray and let them cool down.
- For the dressing add the zest and juice of 1 orange to the bowl of a food processor. Add mustard, vinegar, and honey. Turn on the food processor and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil through the feed chute while the motor is running to combine. The dressing should have a nice consistency not too thick not too thin.
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked quinoa, vegetables, and all but 1/4 cup of the orange dressing. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve chilled salad with crumbled goat cheese, orange segments, and some micro arugula on top. Drizzle with reserved dressing.
Recipe adapted from Chef Cristian Pettita of Pax Romana.
Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars