Roasted Strawberry Quinoa Salad

30 Nov

roasted strawberry quinoa salad

Ever since I first heard of roasting strawberries, I’ve been waiting for a chance to try it out. Since strawberries are starting to show up around here, I tossed a pound of them with balsamic vinegar and threw them in the oven. The result is wonderfully concentrated flavor, perfect for savory or sweet applications. I chose to use them in this savory salad with quinoa. The quinoa is a great foil to the strawberries, absorbing their juices and providing a good base for the salad, along with spinach. Walnuts on top for crunch and blue cheese to balance the sweetness of the strawberries make this salad a winner. It comes together quickly, with the quinoa cooking while the strawberries roast, and I liked it best served at room temperature – perfect for packing for lunch. I think this would also be a great unique addition to a brunch spread.


Roasted Strawberry Quinoa Salad
Yield: 3 – 4 entrees or 6 – 8 sides

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounces spinach, torn into pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, toast 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and let simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss 1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved with 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Spread evenly in a roasting pan, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the strawberries from the oven, and set aside to cool.
  6. When the quinoa is done, remove from heat, and fluff with a fork, then set aside to cool.
  7. Toss 8 ounces spinach, torn into pieces with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp of the balsamic strawberry juices from the roasting pan, and salt and pepper, to taste. Adjust the quantities, as needed (you want the spinach to be a little overdressed since you will be adding more ingredients to the salad).
  8. Top the spinach with the cooked quinoa, roasted strawberries, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped, and 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled. This salad can be served immediately (with the quinoa and strawberries still warm) or refrigerated and served cold or at room temperature.

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2 Responses to “Roasted Strawberry Quinoa Salad”

  1. Mark Broadworth December 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    BOO! You get to enjoy spring in November. This looks awesome, BTW.

    • Claire December 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      Yes, I feel very lucky! Thanks – hope you get a chance to make it when it’s spring where you are!

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