Recipe for red quinoa, beet and pecan salad with pomegranate-orange vinaigrette
Honestly, I had my holiday menu all figured out until two things happened to change the plan. I learned that one of our guests is a vegan, and I found both red rice and red quinoa at a gourmet shop a few weeks ago. Red! Vegan! Slight adjustment to a couple of recipes. Not a problem, as the menu already accommodates vegetarians and diabetics, along with a few picky eaters among the ten-and-under set. I can't wait to serve this bright red -- beet red -- quinoa, beet and pecan salad as part of my Thanksgiving buffet, to inject a shot of color and bright flavor into a meal that's so often overwhelmingly brown. While this dish isn't at all hard to put together, it's a zillion times easier if you use those lovely pre-cooked (not canned) beets in the produce section of your supermarket or Trader Joe's.
Red quinoa, beet and pecan salad with pomegranate-orange vinaigrette
Serves 4-6; can be doubled.
For the salad:
1/2 cup red (or white) quinoa
4 medium beets, cooked, peeled and diced
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced scallions
Segments from 1/2 large navel orange, chopped
Chopped green onions, for garnish (optional)
For the dressing:
1/4 tsp orange zest
Juice of 1/2 large navel orange
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Cook the quinoa in your rice cooker or on the stovetop, according to package directions. Allow to cool to room temperature, 15 minutes. You will have 1-1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa with the remaining salad ingredients. (Note: zest the orange before cutting the segments.)
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix together all of the dressing ingredients. Put the lid on tightly, and shake to emulsify the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss. Let sit for up to 1 hour at room temperature before serving.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Quinoa turkey meatloaf
Quinoa salad with tomato, feta and parsley
Black bean, quinoa and red pepper salad with honey-lime vinaigrette
Pomegranate snow swirls
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Red quinoa with butternut squash, cranberries and pecans, from Gluten-Free Goddess
Quinoa and shrimp with fresh corn and cherry tomatoes, from Food Blogga
Greek yogurt cheesecake with pomegranate molasses, from Su Good Sweets
Quinoa salad with avocado, radishes, cucumbers, and cumin-lime vinaigrette, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken wings with pomegranate molasses, from Chicho's Kitchen