If you take a look around the produce section during these oh-so bleak winter months you'll notice a plethora of brightly colored citrus fruits. My personal favorite is the blood orange. These fragrant, native Mediterranean beauties are sweet, yet tangy and my kids love them because they look ghoulishly bloody.
Since I've eaten enough for ten very large people over this holiday break, I thought it would be a good time to prepare something healthy and delicious. My cupboard is always stocked with quinoa, so that was a no-brainer for the base of this salad.
For a non-vegetarian option add some grilled chicken. And bacon...
QUINOA, BEET & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD WITH PISTACHIOS
serves 4. gluten-free, vegetarian.
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 3 scallions, chopped fine
- 3 small red or yellow beets, cooked, diced into 1/2" pieces
- 2 blood oranges, supremed + one reserved for vinaigrette
- 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup toasted pistachios, salted or unsalted - your choice
- 1 small ripe avocado, diced
- 2 cups baby arugula or any other salad green that tickles your fancy
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 5 TBS white balsamic vinegar
- Juice of one blood orange
Rinse quinoa under cold water in fine sieve. Transfer to pot with 2 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt, bring to boil. Stir, reduce heat to medium & partially cover pot. Cook for 15 minutes until water is almost absorbed. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate.
When quinoa is almost cool, toss with vinaigrette, scallions, beets, oranges, cheese, pistachios, avocado and arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve...
Don't forget something fun for New Year's Eve. Okay, I'm a little late - New Year's Eve was last night - but who cares! How about a blood orange mimosa? Just mix your favorite chilled champagne or sparkling wine with freshly squeezed blood orange juice. They're great for brunch too - or anytime really.