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I love the flavors in this Warm Veggie Quinoa Salad. These fall vegetables are perfect with quinoa and the vinaigrette is a beautiful spark of freshness. Seriously – SO good together.
I think overall, the popularity of quinoa has diminished somewhat. For a while there it was all the rage because it was a little less carby than white rice or pasta. As a person who is mostly low-carb, I still appreciate that it is similar in carb count to brown rice. I love the flavor when it’s cooked properly, and the texture is very pleasing. If you’re watching every carb, you may want to skip it, but it is a complete protein, which is definitely a good thing.
And, while no one else here is worried about carbs, this salad is so good that everyone loves it. It’s also a great option if you, your family members or guests are vegetarians or vegans. It ticks those boxes too, and in a delicious way! You can use whatever fall vegetables you prefer. Cauliflower or broccoli are very good, as are cabbage or carrots. Just combine what you have available and what you like.
You’re going to cut everything into bite-size pieces and roast on a sheet pan, while the quinoa cooks.
Then, as you’ll see in the recipe below, it’s just a matter of whisking together a quick vinaigrette and combining everything in a nice serving bowl.
The Recipe for Warm Veggie & Quinoa Salad
Warm Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 & 1/4 cups Water
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 pound Butternut Squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1 & 1/2 inch cubes
- 14 ounces Fresh Brussels Sprouts trimmed and cut in half, from top to bottom
- 1 large Red Onion peeled and cut into chunks about the same size as the squash.
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, sprinkled over the veggies
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Generous sprinkle of kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pinch Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 7-8 grinds Black Pepper
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°
Roast the Veggies
- Place all of the vegetables on a large baking sheet, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Stir around to get it all evenly coated, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Break the thyme stems into smaller pieces and scatter among the vegetables.
- Roast in a 400º oven for about 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until everything is cooked nicely, and can be pierced with the tip of a pairing knife fairly easily.
Cook the Quinoa
- Rinse the quinoa very well, and drain in a fine mesh strainer.
- Using a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa with the water and salt.
- Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat, with the lid left open a crack, for about 15 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed - it may take a little longer, so just give it a few more minutes if you need to.
- When the quinoa is done, leave the lid on and set aside.
Make the Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the garlic, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper, until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Whisk in the oil, in a thin stream to combine and emulsify the vinaigrette
Assemble the Dish
- When the veggies are tender and cooked through, take a nice serving bowl and layer the cooked quinoa in the bottom. Put about half of the veggies on top, making sure to remove the stems from the thyme, and gently combine the veg and quinoa. Kind of mound it in the center a bit, and then scatter the remaining vegetables over the top. Drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
- Serve warm, and store leftovers in the fridge.
I put the additional vinaigrette on the table so that guests can add as much as they like to their serving. This would also be good with a balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette I think – you can experiment to see what you like the best. I am also thinking that some crumbles of feta cheese would not go amiss in there either – I’ll be trying that next time. For now though, I think we can get by on this version.