“This salad is good.”
It’s officially January 4th, 2021, and something about getting through 2020 with most of my sanity intact inspired me to make some New Year’s resolutions. One of them was to get back to sharing recipes I love & my latest cooking adventures here. I was sure I’d have a head start because I had a few drafts saved. I opened this one to find that the only thing I’d written was “this salad is good”. And you know what? I think that’s as good of an introduction as any. So without further ado I’ll jump into this (possibly a little over the top) salad recipe…
Ingredients for Moroccan Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad
- 1/2 cup (dry) red quinoa
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
SEASONING MIX FOR ROASTING:
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 english cucumber, halved and sliced or julienned (set aside a few slices for garnish)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 3-4 cups baby arugula
- 1 heaping teaspoonful dijon mustard
- 2 oz olive oil
- 1 ounce white wine vinegar
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- juice of 1/4 blood orange
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- cucumber slices
- 1 peeled and sliced blood orange
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup moroccan lentil hummus
- pita chips for serving
- shredded chicken breast
Directions for Moroccan Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad
I wasn’t kidding when I said this salad might be a little over the top. This is definitely not something you just happen to throw together last minute for a quick side dish. But, you CAN serve this as the main event (aka “course”) for a delicious dinner. Some of these steps (like cooking the “warm ingredients” and making the dressing can be done in advance to save you some time.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Start out by cooking the quinoa in chicken broth. The chicken broth (or whatever broth you may have on hand) adds flavor to otherwise boring quinoa. It’s the little things that add up to a delicious meal!
Rinse the quinoa before cooking then combine with the broth over medium hight heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and cook stirring occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed.
While that cooks, peel and slice the carrots, open up a can of chickpeas, and get those ready to go in the oven. Toss the peeled sliced carrots in a medium sized bowl with half a can of drained chickpeas and olive oil. Then toss in the “seasoning mix for roasting”. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes (until browned).
While the carrots and chickpeas are roasting in the oven, start prepping all the cold ingredients. If you’re not a huge fan of raw onion, do what I do and thinly slice the red onion first and place it in a bowl with 1/4 cup of lemon juice. The acid from the lemon juice will macerate the onions (take out the bitterness).
Continue by halving and slicing the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and finely chopping the parsley and cilantro. (Remember to set aside some of the cucumber to use as a garnish when assembling the salad.)
Once all the veggies are chopped, make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a small jar and shaking until combined. Toss the sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, macerated onions, fresh herbs, arugula, and cooled off quinoa in this dressing.
*If you’d like to add some protein and make this an entree salad, toss in some shredded chicken with all the veggies in this step.
Prepare the “garnish” ingredients before assembling the salad.
Assemble the salad by transferring the dressed chopped veggies and quinoa to a large flat plate using a slotted spoon to leave behind any extra liquid.
Garnish the plate with sliced cucumber and blood orange as well as dollops of hummus. Then top it all with the crumbled goat cheese. Serve with a bowl of pita chips on the side or some warm pita bread.
I love this Moroccan Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad because it is so far from an ordinary bland salad. There are so many unique and robust flavors! It’s also very easy to convert into a full on meal by adding some shredded chicken to the mix. I love making this to impress all my salad loving friends…you know who you are!