This roasted beet and quinoa salad recipe with goat cheese and hazelnuts is what all health food ought to be. That is to say, it’s as stunning to the eyes as it is to the palate.
This roasted beet and quinoa salad recipe with goat cheese and hazelnuts is the epitome of what healthful food ought to be. It looks stunning and, more importantly, it’s just as stunning to the palate. The quinoa takes is nutty, the sweet roasted beets are tender, the goat cheese is creamy and tangy, the hazelnuts crunchy, and the balsamic dressing lends just the perfect acidic touch. And everything takes on a pleasing purple hue from the beets. You can get all fancy and serve the salad in radicchio cups or simply serve it straight from a bowl. Either way, it’s spectacular.–Angie Zoobkoff
How To Make This Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad Even Easier
When you look at the recipe, you’ll notice that it has quite a few steps but it’s incredibly easy to put together. When we make this, we try to be as efficient with our time as possible, which means we roast the beets in the oven and cook the quinoa on the stovetop at the same time and then roast the hazelnuts as soon as the beets are finished. The dressing takes mere minutes to prep while the other ingredients to cook. It’s largely a hands-off salad that turns out to be supremely satisfying. It just takes a little savvy strategizing.
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 2 H
- Serves 4 to 6
- For the roasted beets
- 1 bunch red beets (3 to 4 medium beets or about 375 grams), trimmed and scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the quinoa salad
- 1 cup (177 grams) uncooked white, red, or black quinoa
- 1 small to medium head radicchio (about 250 grams)
- 1 cup (142 grams) hazelnuts
- 3 ounces (85 grams) goat cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)
- For the balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 medium or large shallot (20 grams), minced
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup or 60 ml)
- 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
- 2/3 cup (158 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Make the roasted beets
- 1. Adjust the oven rack so it’s in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- 2. Rip off a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or double up a couple sheets of regular aluminum foil) large enough to enclose the beets. Place the beets in the center of the foil and season with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few turns of pepper. Seal the beets in the foil and put the packet on a rimmed baking sheet.
- 3. Roast the beets until they’re tender when pierced with a toothpick or fork, about 70 minutes. Remove the beets from the oven, carefully open the foil to let the steam escape, and let cool. Turn the oven down to 325°F (163°C).
- 4. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel the beets by gently rubbing each beet with a paper towel. The skin should slip right off. (Be warned that some beet juice will probably get on your hands. And it stains. So don some thin rubber gloves if you don’t want purple fingers and keep the beets away from your best wooden cutting board.) Cut the peeled beets into 1/2-inch (16-mm) chunks. (You can cover and refrigerate the roasted and peeled beets for up to a couple days.)
- Prep the quinoa salad
- 5. Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well under cool running water. Combine the quinoa, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups water in a large pan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer the quinoa until the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff gently with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a plate or a baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. (You can cover and refrigerate the cooked quinoa for up to a couple days.)
- 6. If you want to serve the quinoa salad in radicchio cups, reserve some of the outer leaves of the radicchio. Quarter and core the radicchio and very thinly slice it.
- 7. Scatter the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and slide it in the oven, shaking the sheet once or twice so they toast evenly. You’ll know they’re done when they’ve browned slightly and when you can smell the aroma of the nuts wafting from the oven, which should happen in 12 to 15 minutes. Don’t forget to set a time so the hazelnuts don’t burn. Transfer the hazelnuts to a clean dishtowel, close the dishtowel to create a bundle, and roll the hazelnuts around inside the towel. When you open up the bundle, the hazelnuts will no longer be wearing their skins. Shake the skins out of the towel and let the hazelnuts cool completely. (You can store the toasted hazelnuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple days.)
- Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette
- 8. In a bowl large enough to hold the salad, combine the shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and set aside until the shallot softens, 5 to 10 minutes.
- 9. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream to the bowl with the remaining ingredients. (You can cover and refrigerate the vinaigrette for up to 1 week. Whisk to recombine just before using.)
- Assemble the roasted beet and quinoa salad
- 10. Add the sliced radicchio and chopped beets to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
- 11. Add the cooled quinoa and hazelnuts to the bowl with the radicchio, beets, and vinaigratte and stir to combine. Add the goat cheese in small clumps and gently fold to distribute it. Serve the salad straight from the bowl or, if desired, spoon the salad into individual radicchio leaves. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I thought that we were going to like this roasted beet and quinoa salad but I was surprised at just how bowled over we were by it. All the ingredients come together to make a whole that’s much better than the sum of its parts. The salad made a fabulous lunch eaten straight out of the bowl. I can see stuffing small radicchio leaves with the salad as a first course to a nice dinner. I would also like to pile the salad on endive leaves to eat as “finger food” with friends or even as a treat while we’re cooking and sharing a glass of wine and waiting for dinner. The balsamic vinaigrette is fabulous and one that I would like to use for other salads. I’ve been making lighter vinaigrettes with white balsamic or lemon juice for quite a while now and staying away from regular balsamic vinegar for some reason. This was a reminder to me of just how much I enjoy its richness and deep flavor. The crunch of the quinoa, the tender beets, the warm crunchy hazelnuts, and the creamy rich goat cheese worked perfectly together. This is a salad that will impress and satisfy. I highly recommend you give it a try.