Hello; I am in love. I’d normally drop a joke about this tasty salad demystifying the belief that you “can’t make friends with salad”, but that joke has run its course — especially on this blog. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it in several salad posts, actually. I need a new line; I am just too predictable.

This salad, however, is anything but predictable.

This bowl of goodness is a dream for anyone that harbors a strong love and appreciation for earthy beets. These ruby gems are shredded, then tossed in a citrusy vinaigrette along with creamy chunks of avocado, carrots, edamame, hearty quinoa, and toasty pepitas.

Over the weekend, we hosted dinner for our recently engaged friends. Since I take great joy in hosting and feeding the ones I love, I always want something to be a colorful show-stopper. It’s similar to how Michael Scott from The Office treats the annual ‘Secret Santa’ — “I love you this many dollars worth”; only for me, it’s more along the lines of “I love you this much efforts worth”.

It’s not that this salad is a hassle per se, but between preparing hors d’oeuvres, a veg side and parchment fish packets, grating beets was the last thing I wanted to do. But it was oh-so-worth it. It’s also definitely worth mentioning that the leftovers are fantabulous.

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing Thyme
I’m not the mastermind behind this recipe, though. I adapted this bad boy from Kate over at Cookie + Kate. My tweaks reflect the simple fact that I wanted a salad that celebrated beets and quinoa a little harder than the greens. I love me some greens, but since I just gave you all my (very) green roasted romanesco salad, I wanted to bring you a healthful mix that focused more on the nourishing goodies like beets, wholesome quinoa, edamame, and toasted pepitas.

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing ThymeThe vinaigrette for this is also worth its own little para. Holy cannoli, it is legit. I love whipping up my own vinaigrettes; there is great satisfaction in coming up with an impromptu dressing that boasts a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. (Or am I just a nerd?) I used Kate’s vinaigrette recipe as a guide, but I changed a few things out of personal preference. I swapped the lime juice for lemon (love lime, but I don’t utilize lemons enough), and I used less cider vinegar. For the fresh herbs, I tossed in some chopped parsley. My sweetening agent was none other than my trusty and beloved pure Canadian maple syrup.

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing Thyme

Please let me know if you make this recipe! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.

 

Get the Recipe:

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas

Ingredients

The Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • Vegetable broth (optional), This is for cooking the quinoa in, as opposed to water; measured amount will depend on package instructions.
  • 1 cup edamame, The boiled + salted edamame you can purchase at Whole Foods is perfect for this; otherwise, prepare as per package instructions.
  • 1/3 cup pepitas, toasted
  • 2 medium-sized uncooked beets, peeled
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and julienned or shredded
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 cups torn or roughly-chopped supergreens; spinach, chard, arugula, and/or kale, You can use one of these or a mix.

The Vinaigrette

  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

The Quinoa

  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under running water for a minute or until water runs clear.
  • Place quinoa in a medium-sized pot or sauce pan along with vegetable broth (or water) — amount may vary, so go by the package directions. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to a low simmer, and let it go for 15 minutes.
  • When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest, covered, for approx. 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside.
  • Toasting Pepitas
  • Place the raw pepitas in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir often to keep them from burning. When ready, the pepitas will be fragrant and will turn a light golden color around the edges; a few may even make popping sounds. When done, remove from heat and let cool.

The Veggies

  • Grate the beets and transfer to a large bowl. To avoid a red mess, do this at the sink and run the beet under cool water every so often while grating. You could also spiralize the beets using a spiralizer and simply chopping the ribbons into bite-sized pieces afterward.
  • Peel the carrots, and either shred them or julienne them. Toss them into the bowl with the beets.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled off a bit, add it to the bowl with the beets and carrots, along with the edamame, cubed avocado, greens and toasted pepitas.

The Viniagrette

  • Place all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until well blended and emulsified. You could also place the ingredients into a jar and shake until well mixed.

Assembly

  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Give it a taste, and season with S+P if needed. Serve.

Notes

** I wasn't sure if we'd have leftovers, so I tossed the greens in with the salad and dressing from the get-go. I can report that they've kept well in the fridge as leftovers!
** This recipe is adapted from Cookie + Kate!
Bright Beet Salad with Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing Thyme