Saturday, January 1, 2011

Quinoa, Kale, and Carrot Salad with Apple-Honey Vinaigrette

I wanted to kick this fresh new year off right with a healthy salad like the one I made a few days ago for an article for The Sound Outlook for Marlene's Market and Deli. The recipe started with this cool cookbook called Fresh that I got from Cascade Harvest Coalition. Fresh is this small unassuming little book jam-packed with recipes any locavore would love. Also the proceeds from sales go to this great organization that has helped localize our food system in Washington.

The first recipe caught my eye--Dandelion Greens Salad with Honey Vinaigrette by Kerry Sears. More specifically it was the vinaigrette that captured my attention and made my imagination wander. Sherry vinegar, wildflower honey, Dijon mustard, horseradish, grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. I checked my pantry and found only apple cider vinegar from Rockridge Orchards, raspberry vinegar from Rent's Due Ranch and a bit of Fini balsamic vinegar.

The apple cider vinegar would have to do, so I set in on the counter. I wondered how a Newtown Pippin apple from Grouse Mountain Farm would taste when pureed into the mix and whether fresh horseradish root from Ayers Creek Farm would work. I set those ingredients out, too. I took out some honey from Tahuya River apiaries. I was surprised by the smooth creamy texture; the flavor was heavenly.

Kale and carrots replaced the dandelion greens and quinoa turned it into a whole meal salad. The vinaigrette could be doubled and used for other kinds of salads, if you like.

Here's the recipe:

Quinoa, Kale, and Carrots with Apple-Honey Vinaigrette
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 small, sweet, tart apple, cored and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon horseradish or 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons hazelnut or extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated carrots (about 2 medium size carrots)
2 cups thinly sliced kale, middle rib removed
1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Grated carrots for garnish (optional)

1. In a small saucepan bring water to boil. Add quinoa and salt, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow grain to sit 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

2. While quinoa cooks, puree the apple vinegar, honey, mustard, horseradish and garlic in a blender until smooth and creamy. Blend in olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss vinaigrette with quinoa, carrots, and greens. Garnish with hazelnuts and carrots, if desired.

My Cooking Assistant gives it 4 paws up but says to lose the decorative kale. I'm fairly certain he would have been up for the bacon that the original recipe listed.

May 2011 be filled with fabulously healthy recipes.


Joan said...

Another awesome post with fab recipe! Right up my alley. I'm going to check out that cook book. I know a foodie who may just love it!

ddzeller said...

I'm glad you liked it. I became intrigued with the possibility of pureeing apples in a dressing when I saw someone puree raw carrots in a recipe. Thanks for the support for the book!