Photo by Nicole Franzen; styled by Mariya Yufest
If awards were ever handed out for the most romantic New Year’s Eve scene, surely When Harry Met Sally would take it. When Billy Crystal’s Harry and Meg Ryan’s Sally finally get together as the clock strikes 12, it is easy to imagine the neurotic pair happily bickering as they stroll off into the sunset -- er, sunrise. Maybe Sally suggests they kick off the New Year by cooking more vegetarian meals. "I refuse to live on a boring diet of tofu, veggie burgers, and pasta," proclaims Harry. Clearly he’s never tried Fairmount_market’s hearty, vibrantly-hued warm roasted vegetable and grain salad.
She combines cubed crimson beets -- their natural sweetness coaxed into caramelization thanks to the magic of dry heat -- with a blend of black and red quinoa, both a superfood and complete protein, in a tangy dressing that cleverly echoes the dish’s roasting theme. The mixture is piled on a bed of purple kale, yet another superfood, that has been roasted until the outer edges of its leaves crisp up while retaining a hint of chewiness. Fairmount_market crumbles feta over the top, creating a pop of white color -- and a salty contrast that offsets the earthy salad’s sweet and sour flavors. This dish is hardly boring.
Note: Since peeling beets tends to stain your hands a rather unsightly red, wear plastic gloves while cutting them to avoid looking like you just stepped out of a horror movie. Shallots can be pesky, too. They tend to roast quickly, so check on them after about ten minutes. Ingredient substitutions are easy here, though. Curly green kale and regular quinoa stand in nicely for their more elusive counterparts. And in a pinch, you can use red wine vinegar, balsamic, or even rice wine vinegar in place of the sherry vinegar.
Warm Red and Black Quinoa Salad with Roasted Kale and Beets by Fairmount_market
Makes 4 large or 6 side salads
For the salad:
1 bunch purple kale
2-3 cloves garlic
6 medium sized red beets
1/2 cup red quinoa
1/2 cup black quinoa
1 1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt to taste
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If ever there was a meal I could eat three to five times a week, this would be it. Healthy, delicious, and wine friendly! It's a perfect all-weather dish: warm, with substance, yet a salad with a tasty dressing to keep it fresh and lively. With all the earthy components, it's a dead ringer for Pinot Noir, even some Merlot. If you want a white, try a Ribolla Gialla or white Bordeaux for their cheesy, fall fruited flavors.
2009 Franck Millet Sancerre Rouge, Loire, France
2009 Ducasse Graves Blanc, Graves, France
Have you tried roasting kale or other greens? What grains besides quinoa do you incorporate into your salads? Share your ideas and cooking tips in the comments section below.
Like this post? See the Make This Tonight topic from last week: Gong Bao Chicken.