Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad

It’s summertime and that means salads are plentiful. They’re simple and quick to assemble, yet so many medleys of flavors are possible simply by combining new variations of ingredients with crunch, saltiness, sweetness and spice. While many salads contain 100 percent raw ingredients, cooking some of the vegetables or roasting nuts and beans brings any salad to a whole new level. This salad is all about the mustard and nut notes.

Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

> 1 teaspoon paprika
> 1 teaspoon ground cumin
> 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
> salt and pepper
> 4 large carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise
> 1 small onion, thinly sliced
> 3 tablespoons olive oil
> 1/2 cup walnut pieces, roasted
> 1 cup red quinoa
> 2 cups water
> 2 tablespoons lemon juice
> 7 ounces arugula
> 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
> 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
> 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk the paprika, cumin, cinnamon and a dash of salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots and onion and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of spice mix and toss to coat. Spread the vegetable on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and the water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice  and 1 teaspoon mustard, and season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and toss to coat. Spread the greens on a large platter.

Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon mustard and remaining spice mix. Add quinoa, walnuts, cranberries and roasted vegetables, and toss well. Spoon the quinoa salad on top of the greens.

Makes 4 entree-sized servings.

Adapted from Food & Wine.

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