Since it’s been so warm lately, I wanted salad and a tangy vinaigrette. But, there are rules. This salad would have to be portable enough to take to lunch, not too fussy to assemble, and not get soggy. Kale is a good option since it’s hearty enough to be dressed ahead of time without turning into a wilted mess by lunchtime. Quinoa gives some heft, the roasted carrots lend a subtle sweetness, and the radish is nicely crisp. Toss with the roasted garlic lime vinaigrette and you’ve got a healthy lunch. It’s even better with some crusty bread slathered in salted butter and a glass of crisp white wine.
If you’ve got some roasted vegetables leftover from last night’s dinner, this is the salad for you. Half of the work is done. I happened to have roasted carrots on hand so into the salad they went. Almost any roasted vegetable could be substituted or added to this versatile salad.
Quinoa and Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Lime Vinaigrette
Yield: 2 servings
1 cup cooked quinoa*
6 carrots, roasted
6 radishes, sliced thin or if very small, cut in half
Baby kale, 3 handfuls
4 tablespoons roasted garlic lime vinaigrette
Roasted Garlic Lime Vinaigrette:
6-8 cloves roasted garlic
Juice of 1 lime plus zest
1 cup good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients except lime zest in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a jar or container and add the zest.
Assemble the Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa, kale, and vinaigrette. Toss to combine, then add the carrots and radish, toss lightly. Portion between two salad bowls. Enjoy!
*cook quinoa according to directions on the package. I use a rice cooker and a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. Make sure to rinse the quinoa in cold water to get rid of bitterness before cooking. To the quinoa and water, I also add a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt to ensure the quinoa is easily fluffed and seasoned.