Cauliflower, Carrot, Celery & Quinoa Salad

 

This week kind of got ahead of me.  The weekend was busy with soccer and dance and a lovely visit from my oldest friend and her kids, which was way overdue and just so lovely.  There is nothing like a friend who has known you your whole life.  Literally, my whole life.

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So, she came over on Saturday for lunch.  And yes, that’s our kids eating burgers and hot dogs and chips and (dare I say it?!?!) Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, because that’s how my friend rolls and I know it. It’s just one of the gazillion things I love about her.

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Anyway, completely worth it, but a lot of the meal prep that would normally happen on Sunday, did not happen.  It left me scrambling for a healthy lunch today.  But, as I rummaged through the fridge, the odds and ends I found seemed to add up to something good: a hearty salad.  There was no real inspiration behind this one folks, more like desperation to use what I had on hand (cauliflower, carrots, parsley, celery, radicchio) to create something healthy and somewhat tasty.

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It wound up being both healthy and really good!  This is the kind of salad that normally fuels me through the summer days at our town pool.  And, while my oldest friend wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole, those of you with more adventurous palates just might enjoy it as much as I did. It comes together quickly, and makes enough for a few days lunches. No worries, old friend, I will not have this on the menu at our next lunch together, which I hope is very soon.

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4-5 celery stalks, thinly sliced, leaves included
  • 1 1/2 cup of roughly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 small head of radicchio, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 cup of dry tri-color quinoa
  • 1 shallot, chopped (for the dressing)
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 raisins (optional)

What to do:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Meanwhile on a large baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets and carrot slices with cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Roast them for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables have begun to brown. Allow to come to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the directions, typically 2:1 water:quinoa ratio. Once done, allow it to come to room temperature.
  3. Toss the celery slices with the parsley leaves and radicchio.  Add the cauliflower and carrots. Add the pumpkin seeds and raisins.
  4. To make the dressing: place the chopped shallot with some olive oil and red wine vinegar in a small food processor and blend well.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve.

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