ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Beets and Pomegranate
3 medium beets (about 1¼ pounds)
2 cups vegetable broth
1½ cups water
2 cups red quinoa
½ teaspoon salt
3 medium oranges
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
½ cup chopped pitted dates
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.
Trim the root end of the beets and remove any greens (reserving for another use); rinse and pat dry. Wrap individually in foil. Roast until tender, 1 to 1¼ hours, depending on size. (Alternatively, place beets in a microwave-safe dish, add ¼ cup water, cover loosely and microwave on High until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes, depending on size.)
Meanwhile, bring broth, water, quinoa and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl.
Zest and juice 1 orange. Place the juice in a medium bowl. Working over another bowl, cut the remaining 2 oranges into segments (see Tips) and set aside. Measure the juice from the first orange—if it isn't quite ⅓ cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes until you get ⅓ cup. Add the zest, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to the juice; gradually whisk in oil in a thin stream until well combined. Stir in ¼ cup parsley.
When cool enough to handle, peel and dice the roasted beets. Add to the quinoa along with dates and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate beets (Steps 1 & 2) and quinoa (Step 3) in separate containers for up to 1 day. Prepare the salad up to 2 hours ahead; garnish just before serving.
Tips: Red quinoa, which you can commonly find in stores where white quinoa is sold, gives the dish a stunning color. If you can only find white, that's fine too. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoas natural, bitter protective covering. Most quinoa available in the U.S. has been “scrubbed” of its bitter outer coating—check the label to see if you need to rinse it first.
To segment citrus, slice both ends off the fruit. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith; discard. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice into the bowl before discarding membrane, if desired.