Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots has got it all: fiber, phytonutrients, protein 

Quinoa is a seed that’s high in protein. The carrots add sweetness, and the dressing is light, fresh tasting, and flavorful. What’s not to love?

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Tania Van Pelt

Ingredients

  • 1 leek trimmed OR 1 small white onion, cut into very thin strips or half rings
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil more for frying leeks or onions
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pounds carrots peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins
  • 2 cups quinoa 13 ounces, cooked
  • ½ pumpkin seeds toasted
  • cup dried currants
  • 6 ounces fresh arugula or green leaf lettuce

Instructions

  1. Cut leek in half lengthwise and rinse away any grit. Slice thinly. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm ¼-inch olive oil. Add a handful of leeks or very thinly sliced onions, and fry until golden brown, 15 to 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with remaining leeks or onions.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and a large pinch of pepper. Whisk in ¾ cup oil.
  3. Heat oven to 425℉ degrees. Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Spread on one or two large baking sheets so they fit in one layer. Roast carrots, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. While carrots roast, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
  5. In a large bowl, toss warm quinoa with currants and pumpkin seeds. Add carrots and half the dressing and toss well. Taste and add dressing or salt (or both) if needed.
  6. In a separate bowl, toss arugula or lettuce with enough dressing to lightly coat. (Leftover dressing will last for five days stored in the refrigerator.) Spread arugula on a serving platter. Top with quinoa and the frizzled leeks or fried onions. Drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar before serving.

Recipe Notes

I used onions because leeks were unavailable the first time I made this, and the fried onions tasted wonderful. The leeks are very good, too. I've substituted green leaf lettuce for arugula, and that worked well. I've also used escarole in place of arugula with great success. My point: do what works for you, make this recipe your own. And enjoy!

Adapted from Melissa Clark of The New York Times