Ask A Chef: Quinoa, Beet and Feta Salad

Recipe By:  Renée Lavallée
quinoa salad
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Chef Renée Lavallée of Two If By Sea shares a quinoa, beet and feta salad recipe. 

Q: My local coffee shop, Two If By Sea, hosts a monthly pop-up called TIBS Family Dinners. The chef, Renée Lavallée, recently served a quinoa salad with beets and feta that I can’t stop thinking about. Could you please get the recipe? — Bruce, Dartmouth, N.S.

A: You’re not alone. “This salad is always a crowd favorite,” says Lavallée. The trick is to use walnut oil in the dressing, which is in sync with the nuttiness of the quinoa. Lavallée prefers roasting beets to boiling them, as it intensifies their sweet flavour.

Ingredients
  •  1 large red or golden beet(size of a tennis ball)
  • 1⁄4 cup walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp organic canola oil
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water 
  • Large pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1⁄4 lb. feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Directions Yield:  Serves 4 to 6
  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beet tightly in foil and place on roasting pan. Bake until a paring knife can be inserted in centre with ease, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool, peel and dice.
  2. To make dressing, whisk together walnut and canola oils, lemon juice and honey.
  3. In small pot, combine quinoa, water and salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce to gentle simmer and cook until tender, 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Fluff with fork. Stir in enough dressing to coat. Cool.
  4. Add beets and remaining ingredients. Mix very gently. Taste and add more dressing and seasoning, if necessary.
Photographer:
Doug Townsend
Source:
House & Home January 2013
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