One for the road.
A little root vegetable here, a little storable grain there, and voila!
Something that might last you a few months if you hid it in a cool cellar.
(Not in prepared form...don't do that.)
You can cheat with a little goat cheese, if you are into cheating. My heart is still with you, goat cheese.
Adds a little tang, a little salt to the earthy sweet of the charred beets.
I made this as a side-salad.
Don't do that either.
This is a meal. One last winter's meal, then it's all pea tendrils and rhubarb from here on out.
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese (inspired by Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 cup uncooked plain quinoa, rinsed
3 small shallots
1 1/2 pounds beets, tiny if you can find them and peeled if you can’t, scrubbed, trimmed, and halved or quartered to bite-size pieces
juice of 1/2 a lemon
dab of goat cheese (optional)
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for finishing
2 big pinches of coarse salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat oven to 400°F.
Add quinoa, 1 cup water, and a pinch of salt to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to about medium and cook until the quinoa has absorbed the water, 10 to 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare beets. Peel shallots and place in a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a few drops of olive oil, wrap the foil to create a packet and place in the oven.
Coat a baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Place the beets on the baking sheet and arrange in one layer, drizzling lightly with a little more olive oil. Squeeze lemon juice over and season generously with salt and pepper.
Place beets in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then stir/flip them around and roast until tender and crisp at the edges, about another 10 minutes. (Larger beets will take a few more minutes).
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Remove the shallot packet from the oven and carefully take out the shallots. Toss the roasted shallots into a food processor or blender with the apple cider and balsamic vinegars, 2 pinches of coarse salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Blend until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Spoon three-quarters of the quinoa onto a serving platter. Arrange roasted beets over the quinoa, and top off with the rest of the quinoa. Drizzle the entire dish with the vinaigrette. Serve with an extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar if you’d like or a few crumbles of goat cheese.