Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quinoa and Roasted Beet Tabouli

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I don't know how I stumbled upon this recipe, but I'm so so glad I did.  This was actually my first time cooking with quinoa and I had no idea what to expect.  The roasted beets were the reason I wanted to cook this in the first place (we're beet freaks)  And I was even more lucky that the store had cherry tomatoes in stock.  (yeah, you never know what will be at the store on a daily basis here in Saudi)
I enjoyed this recipe so much I was upset that I had to share it with my family.  Luckily (ok, well not really) my girls weren't gaga over more for me!  (selfish, I know)
I added a bit more beet than the recipe called for and the original recipe had you boil the beets instead of roasting...which just isn't good enough for me.  I adore the taste of roasted, I planned out the extra time needed.  (feel free to boil away if you're short on time)
Excellent recipe and I can't wait to make it again...maybe once we're growing our own cherry tomatoes and I can get some whenever I want.  :)

For the vinaigrette: 
Sea salt and pepper 
Juice of 1 lemon or lime 
6 Tbs. olive oil 
2 Tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley 
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro 
1 Tbs. chopped chives 
1 Tbs. chopped mint 

For the tabouli: 
2 Tbs. pine nuts 
1 cup (7 oz) uncooked white quinoa 
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 
Sea salt 
1 large beet
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
1/4 red onion, finely chopped 
3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled 

Make the beets:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
*note: do not wash the beets!
Rub the beets with a bit of olive oil and wrap in foil.
Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45-60 min (less or more depending on the size of your beet)
Remove from the oven and let cool.  Then peel the skin and chop into chunks.  (yes, your fingers will turn pink, but it washes off)  

While the beet(s) roast(s), make the dressing and cook the quinoa.
Make the vinaigrette:In a small bowl, combine the sea salt and pepper with the lemon juice and oil, and whisk to emulsify. Stir in the herbs. Dress the salad with this vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Add more dressing if you like and serve with the pine nuts.

Make the tabouli:Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until lightly colored and fragrant; remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain it in a colander. Add it to a pot and cover with the broth and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, or until all of the water or broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep covered for 5 more minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff it with a fork; let cool. Add the beet and toss gently. The quinoa will take on a pretty pink color. Add the tomatoes, onion, and cheese. 

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