A recipe for a market-inspired salad with baby arugula, fresh herbs, fennel, quinoa, roasted golden beets all topped with oozing balls of fried goat cheese.
We approach the market tentatively in the fall. The number of vendors dwindles each week, and it’s difficult to know when to expect them to disappear completely until spring. The sun shining, the air far warmer than is usual or expected for November, we wandered through the aisles, and we were not disappointed.
I happily show up long before the market is bustling in the spring, hoping to score ramps and morels and some overwintered root vegetables. In the fall, I linger, and I rejoice as farmers set out late season arugula, spinach, and bunches of tiny, vibrant radishes – a return from those chilled spring days.
This salad takes a bit of forethought. You have to roast beets and prepare quinoa, which aren’t the quickest of tasks. However, this can be done well in advance. If you are motivated to spend a few hours on meal prep over the weekend, these can sit and wait a few days in the refrigerator for you until you’re ready to toss them all together into a quick salad one night, frying up the goat cheese just before serving.
In the end, it all comes together into a fresh and earthy mix of autumn.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Fennel and Fried Goat Cheese
- For the quinoa
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
- For the beets
- 1 pound baby golden beets
- 1 teaspoon oil
- For the fried goat cheese
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup club soda
- Oil for frying
- For the salad
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fennel
- 1 watermelon radish, cut into matchsticks
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roast the beets by tossing them in oil and spreading them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, peel, and then chill until you are ready to prepare the salad.
- Prepare the quinoa, bringing the water, wine, and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
- Scoop the goat cheese into 2-teaspoon-sized balls. Freeze until firm.
- For the salad, combine the cooled beets and quinoa with the fennel, arugula, and radishes. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey, herbs, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Toss the salad
- When ready to serve, fry the goat cheese balls. Heat 2-3 inches of oil to 375°F. Whisk together the rice flour, egg, and club soda. Dip frozen goat cheese balls into the batter. Fry about 2 minutes on each side. Serve goat cheese balls over salad.
It’s that time of the month. Wondering what to do with what’s in season this month? We’re sharing what we’re doing for Eat Seasonal. Follow along using #eatseasonal.
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