quinoa dressed in pink

quinoa dressed in pink

1c quinoa
1.5c water
a green apple
a medium beet
a good handful of hazelnuts (about 25 or so)
a lime
walnut oil (if you don't have any, substitute with a good gentle olive oil)
fine sea salt
a few sprigs of chervil, tarragon and dill (or whatever fresh zesty herbs you have on hand)

Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.  As your oven is heating up, slip the hazelnuts in for a quick roasting.  It should take about 15 minutes.  Just keep your eye and nose on the lookout to make sure they don't burn.  While the hazelnuts are developing their flavor, wash your beet and trim off any errants leaves or roots.  Once the hazelnuts are done take them out of the oven and set aside.

Wrap the beet in foil and pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes, or until it can be easily pierced with a knife.  You might want to take advantage of the heated oven to roast a few extra beets for later use.  Once the beet is cooked, the skin will slip off easily with a slight rub.  Skin your beet and chop up it into small cubes.  Go ahead and do the same to the apple, leaving the skin on.

Rinse off the quinoa.  Bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, a bit of salt, and reduce to a simmer.  In about 15 minutes your quinoa will have "sprouted" and fluffed up.  Turn off the heat and drain any extra water.

Zest your lime.  I swear by a microplane zester-- it basically undresses citrus of its skin with barely a nudge.

Mix the beet cubes and quinoa in a large bowl.  Stir it around for a bit so the beets can play colorworks. Add the apple cubes.  Sprinkle with the juice of 1 lime and a dribble of walnut oil-- perhaps a teaspoon, just enough to lightly coat the salad.  Finely chop your herbs and add to the mix, along with a good dash of fine sea salt and the lime zest.