Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Big Red Quinoa Lentil Salad

Early spring can actually be a tough time to cook, at least in the Northeast. Most of the winter vegetables are no longer around, and are past their storing life. Asaparagus is everywhere, but what do you serve it with? So, I came up with this salad that makes use of winter's last remnant (beets) and spring's shooting star (asparagus).

For some kids, the bright red color of this salad, care of the beets, is especially alluring. For others, it's "gross me out!" If you're serving one of the latter, go with a golden beet instead of red.

My Big Red Quinoa Lentil Salad
1 red beet, washed and trimmed of ends
1/2 cup green lentils
1 cup water
1 cup quinoa
2 cups homemade or low-sodium veggie stock
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of woody ends and cut into 1.5" pieces
1 navel orange, supremed (see note below)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap the beet in two layers of foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, and then peel the beet's skin, and slice the beet into thin strips.

In a small saucepan, bring lentils and water to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. In another small saucepan, bring quinoa and veggie stock to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. Once lentils are done, add the asparagus to the pan, stirring the pieces in and then replacing the cover for up to 5 minutes, allowing the asparagus to steam slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, lentils, asparagus, beets, and orange sections, and toss. In a separate bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve cold or room temperature.

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a side dish.

Note: To supreme an orange, cut the top and bottom off the orange, and then cut the rind and pith away from the sides, cutting from top to bottom. Remove individual orange sections by cutting between the orange membranes, so all you have at the end are segments of orange flesh.

No comments: