Two of my recent food obsessions have been quinoa and cauliflower and it was past time for me to use them both in a dish together! Another thing that I have been enjoying lately is whole grain salads where the recipes follows some basic guidelines including starting off with quinoa or a whole grain like farro, a vegetable or two, possibly some beans and/or nuts, a cheese and a dressing. As soon as I had the idea of using quinoa and cauliflower together one of these salads sounded like a great way to go! Of course I had to go with roasted cauliflower since it is so addictively good and I figured that I might as well roast some mushrooms up at the same time. For this salad I decided to omit any beans but I did throw in some walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette. Which cheese to use was the only real question as there a few good options including feta, blue cheese and the one that I chose, a creamy goat cheese. Goat cheese is a particularly nice option for salad like this because if you add it to the salad while the ingredients are still warm, it starts to melt into the salad spreading it's goodness throughout. This salad goes well either warm or cool and it makes for a nice side or even a light meal. If you want to bulk it up a bit for a meal you can add some chickpeas and serve it on a bed of greens such as kale, spinach or lettuce. I have to say that the roast cauliflower, mushroom and quinoa combo was a nice and tasty one and healthy to boot!
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Quinoa Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette
Roasted cauliflower and mushrooms in a warm quinoa salad with a balsamic vinaigrette and creamy crumbled goat cheese.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water or broth
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup goat, feta or blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- Toss the cauliflower and mushrooms in the oil, thyme, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven until they start to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes, flipping them half way through.
- Meanwhile, bring the water and quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the water, about 15-20 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered.
- Mix everything and enjoy.
Option: Serve warm or cool over sauteed or fresh greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard or lettuce.
Option: Bulk the salad up with the addition of chickpeas.
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