Quinoa salad with oranges, beetroot and pomegranate


Quinoa salad with oranges, beetroot and pomegranate

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Roasted beetroot and sweet dates, tangy oranges and juicy pomegranate seeds make this quinoa salad recipe.

It pairs beautifully with turkey or roast pork.

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 3 medium beetroots
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 cups red or white quinoa (see Tips)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 medium oranges
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or freshly squeezed
lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • ½ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeded (see Tips)


Position rack in centre of oven; preheat to 180°C.

Trim the root end of the beetroots and remove any greens (reserving for another use); rinse and pat dry. Wrap individually in foil. Roast until tender, one to one and a quarter hours, depending on size. (Alternatively, place beets in a microwave-safe dish, add quarter of a cup of water, cover loosely and microwave on high until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes, depending on size.)

Meanwhile, bring stock, water, quinoa and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl.

Zest and juice one orange. Place the juice in a medium bowl. Working over another bowl, cut the remaining two oranges into segments (see Tips) and set aside. Measure the juice from the first orange – if it isn’t quite a third of a cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes until you get a third of a cup. Add the zest, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to the juice; gradually whisk in oil in a thin stream until well combined. Stir in quarter of a cup parsley.

When cool enough to handle, peel and dice the roasted beets. Add to the quinoa along with dates, and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds and the remaining two tablespoons parsley.

Tip: To segment citrus, slice both ends off the fruit. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith; discard. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice into the bowl before discarding membrane, if desired.

Tip: Red quinoa, which you can commonly find in stores where white quinoa is sold, gives the dish a stunning color. If you can only find white, that’s fine too. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. Check the label to see if you need to rinse it first.

Tip: To seed a pomegranate, fill a large bowl with water. Lightly score the fruit into quarters from crown to stem end, cutting just through the skin. Hold the fruit under water, break it apart and use your hands to gently separate the plump seeds from the skin and white pith. Discard the white pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry.

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