This beautiful and hearty quinoa salad will satisfy any palate. It is richly spiced with cumin, creamy with avocado, sweet with roasted carrots, and tangy with citrus juice. Incorporate it as a side dish, or use it as the star of any meal.
This dish is the most versatile recipe I’ve ever created. Feel free to incorporate any vegetables or flavors that you love. My version is vegan, but if you like, cook the grains with your favorite broth or stock and add a crumbly cheese. The best part is that it can be served hot or served cold, making it easy to fit into your Thanksgiving cooking schedule.
Carrots, 6 or so
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Cumin, 2 tablespoons
Garlic, to taste
Oil, for drizzling
Cayenne, to taste
Step 1: Toast half of the cumin in a dry saucepan. Use medium-high heat and swirl the seeds in the saucepan often to prevent any burning. When the cumin has darkened evenly, remove them from the heat. Combine the toasted cumin with the raw cumin, and grind them with a mortar and pestle, or herb grinder.
Step 2: Slice the carrots in half lengthwise, then slice the halves into quarters. Lay them onto a baking sheet, and drizzle them with oil. Sprinkle the carrots with the ground cumin mixture. Place them in an oven that is preheated to 425 degrees, and roast them until they are dark and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
Step 3: If necessary, rinse the quinoa. Put 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of broth in a large uncovered stock pot. Bring the broth to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Let the quinoa cook on low until the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Step 4: While the quinoa is cooking, juice the oranges and limes and pour the juice into a large serving bowl.
Step 5: Add the avocado in chunks to the juice.
Step 6: Chop the garlic and add it to the juice.
Step 7: Chop the cilantro and add it to the juice.
Step 8: Season the juice mixture with cayenne and black pepper, to taste.
Step 9: Dice the roasted carrots, and add them in.
Step 10: Add the cooked quinoa, and throughly mix the salad. Serve it immediately, or chill the salad and serve it cold.