Make Ahead

Warm Red and Black Quinoa Salad with Roasted Kale andĀ Beets

March 20, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4 large or 6 side salads
Author Notes

This recipes starts with the rich dark colors of red and black quinoa and then builds up a salad with similarly hued purple kale and beets. I roasted the kale with garlic and the beets with shallots. The kale served as a crunchy base for the salad, the beets partnered with the quinoa, and the shallots were pureed into a sherry vinegar dressing. - Fairmount_market —Fairmount_market

Test Kitchen Notes

What a stunning, but also interesting, fall and winter salad! First, consider the wonderful variety of textures; roasted kale, which somehow manages to be both crispy and a bit chewy, is topped with nubby quinoa and just-tender beets. The roasted shallot and sherry vinegar dressing, paired with the feta and beets, creates luscious sweet, sour and salty layers. I recommend you check the shallots after 8 or 10 minutes, ours roasted very quickly so do watch carefully, lest they burn. With its deep green leaves, bright red beets and quinoa, and bits of white feta, this would be perfect for a winter holiday lunch or dinner. Simply gorgeous! - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • For the salad
  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 6 medium sized red beets
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • For the dressing
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the beets and cut into approximately 1 inch chunks (about 8 pieces per medium-sized beet). Peel the shallots and cut into similarly sized pieces (about 4 pieces per shallot). Put in a baking pan, drizzle with some olive oil to coat, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beets are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, cut or rip the kale leaves from their thick stems, and rip into bite sized pieces. Mince the garlic cloves. Place the kale leaves and garlic in a large casserole dish, pour on enough oil to coat, plenty of salt, and pepper to taste, and toss well. Roast the kale leaves in the oven for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they smell toasty and start to brown on the edges.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Heat a cooking pot until you can feel the heat radiating from the bottom when you hold your hand at the top of the pan. Add the quinoa and toast for about 5 minutes, shaking the pot frequently, until you can smell the toasting grain. Add 1 1/4 cup water, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer partially covered for about 15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa grains have released their little halos.
  4. When the beets are ready, remove the shallot pieces to a mini or regular sized food processor or blender. Transfer the beets to a bowl and mix with the cooked quinoa. Deglaze the hot pan in which you roasted the beets and shallots with the sherry vinegar and transfer to the processor. Add the water, sugar, and smoked paprika and blend until smooth. Stir into the quinoa and beet mixture.
  5. Assemble the salad. Plate a bed of toasted kale, then spoon on the quinoa and beets, and finally sprinkle over the feta cheese. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alana Uhl
    Alana Uhl
  • AntoniaJames
  • Fairmount_market
  • Fun'n'Mental
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.

9 Reviews

Alana U. July 7, 2013
This is beautiful! Can't wait to try this when the weather cools down.
Fairmount_market July 19, 2013
Thanks, I hope you like it.
Fun'n'Mental March 14, 2012
Hi! We just tried this recipe and were so impressed! We substituted 2 shallots with 1 medium red onion, and instead of sherry vinegar we put balsamic vinegar. The salad turned out so deliciously wonderful and we will definitely make it again! Thanks for the great recipe!
Fairmount_market July 19, 2013
Thanks for trying it.
JayKayTee December 15, 2011
I just want to share a tip. My husband and I love beets but we hate having to heat the oven especially in Phoenix AZ summers. TIP: Steam the beets. It takes half the time the texture is the same and you can eat the skins if you wash them well enough before steaming. No messy peeling, no hot kitchen just beautiful beets.
Fairmount_market February 29, 2012
Good idea for warm weather beet cooking! Thanks for sharing.
AntoniaJames September 10, 2011
FM, I cannot find purple kale of any kind -- what I've bought in the past that was purple is called red Russian kale -- anywhere locally. There's loads of ordinary green kale. May I use that instead? I did, finally, find the black quinoa. Thanks so much. ;o)
Fairmount_market September 10, 2011
Hi AJ, yes, certainly regular kale would be fine. The purple kale just happened to be on sale at my farmers' market when I first created this dish, but it really just changes the appearance and not the taste of the dish. Likewise with the black quinoa: I happened to have both red and black so I used a combination because I thought the two toned colors would be fun, but it really doesn't change the taste. And actually not even the color all that much, because the purple kale becomes more green when roasted and the red and black quinoa converge on color more when cooked. Thanks for testing this recipe!
Fairmount_market August 27, 2011
thanks sdebrango! The roasted shallots are especially nice in the dressing.