This blog may as well be called “The Roasted Sweet Potato (with the occasional beet),” because lately, sweet potatoes are really the only root taking the lime light here. Rutabagas? Turnips? Celery root? You can turn over every stone ever, those roots are nowhere to be found.
I’m going to speak for you and go ahead and say you don’t mind. You don’t mind, do you? Do you? Great! The second you send me an email looking for more rutabaga recipes,
I’ll change the name of this blog, I’ll get right on the rutabaga.
You may look at this quinoa salad with its sweet components – sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, and maple-orange dressing – and think to yourself, “so…is this salad obnoxiously sweet? Is this salad actually dessert? Julia? Is it?” Good question. The answer is, “no.” There are definitely plenty of sweet elements to the salad, but it tastes nutty (on account of the walnuts and quinoa), tangy (on account of the goat cheese), zesty (on account of the dressing) with a little bite (on account of the red onion). It also has a nice, warm element to it because I snuck cinnamon right into the dressing.
The main bullet point is this salad is well-balanced from a flavor and texture standpoint. If “flavorally” were a word, I could have cut four words out of that sentence. ::crickets:: This salad will be well-balanced from a nutritional stand point too if you added kale and
bacon chicken to it. Gaaah, that sounds delicious, why didn’t I think of that?
This quinoa salad got tupper-ed up and went all the way to the mountains, into the wilderness, where cabins are built, campfires tell the greatest truth about life, bears definitely poop, and trees totally make sound when they fall. My fellow mountaineers approved this salad with enthusiasm, but then again, they also approve of Nutter Butters, so you can take that statement with a grain of salt (or lots of grains, because salt makes everything better). No but really, this salad’s freaking amazing.
I’m going to sneak this in by being super discreet and not writing a big long run on sentence missing a bunch of comas immediately preceding the thing I want to sneak in so as to draw minimal attention to my sneakiness and I will neither bold nor italicize the sentence I’m trying to sneak past you, because that would be just plain obvious on my part. This is the best quinoa salad ever.
Wow, that worked.
Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Maple-Orange Dressing
- 2 cups quinoa uncooked
- 1 large sweet potato chopped and roasted
- ¼ cup red onion sliced (about 1 loosely packed )
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 honey crisp apple peeled and chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 ounces to 4 goat chevre to taste crumbled, cheese
For the maple-orange dressing
- Zest of one orange
- 1 cup orange juiced (1/2 juice)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Chop the sweet potato into ½” cubes (I leave the peel on).
Spread the sweet potato chunks on a baking sheet and drizzle them with enough olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle salt and pepper over everything.
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked through and slightly crispy on the outside.
While the sweet potato is roasting, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the quinoa. Return to a full boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the maple-orange dressing in a small bowl.
In a large serving bowl, add the cooked quinoa and pour all of the maple-orange dressing over the quinoa. Toss together.
Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss everything together.
Consume the best quinoa salad ever.
More sweet potato ridiculousness: