This nasty winter is making me crave fresh, healthy salads. I’ve been on a major grapefruit kick and since they’re in season right now, I wanted to incorporate them into a salad. I saw this recipe for a grapefruit/beet salad a couple weeks ago and have been dying to try it out.
Since I couldn’t find white grapefruit OR white beets, I had to improvise. I grabbed a regular pink grapefruit, blood orange, and golden and red beets.
In the end, it was a lot of work for not a lot of payoff. It wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t horrible either. What I gained from it was learning how to cook beets (tricky to peel after they’ve been roasted), and also that cutting citrus into nice hexagon or pentagon-shaped slices is a pain in the ass and will take some more practice.
Fortunately, I had better luck with the next salad.
The second salad today was this quinoa salad with sweet potatoes and apples from Food & Wine Magazine. I’ve had a bag of quinoa sitting in my pantry forever and this seemed like the perfect recipe to put it to use. The flavors of everything together, along with the sweet potatoes were just the sort of thing I had been craving. We gobbled this one up in no time!
Grapefruit and White Beets with Yogurt and Tarragon (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 medium white or Chioggia (candy-stripe) beets (about 1 lb.)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 white grapefruits
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
- Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes; let cool.
- Increase oven heat to 400°. Place beets on a sheet of parchment paper set on top of a sheet of foil; rub beets with oil and season with salt. Close up parchment and foil around beets. Place packet on a baking sheet and roast beets until tender, 40–50 minutes. Unwrap beets and let cool.
- Peel beets and thinly slice into rounds. Toss beets and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt and let stand 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely grate ½ tsp. zest from 1 grapefruit and set aside. Using a sharp, small knife, cut all peel and white pith from both grapefruits; discard. Thinly slice grapefruit into rounds.
- Place yogurt in a small bowl; season with salt and mix well. Spoon onto plates. Top yogurt with beets and sliced grapefruit, then tarragon, toasted pine nuts, and reserved grapefruit zest.
- DO AHEAD: Beets can be roasted 2 days ahead; let cool. Cover and chill. Pine nuts can be toasted 1 day ahead; store airtight at room temperature.
Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples (Adapted from Food & Wine)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 large Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 packed cups baby greens, such as arugula or kale (about 6 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the quinoa and toast over moderate heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 16 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa, spread it out on a baking sheet and refrigerate until it is chilled, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until golden and softened. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, apples, parsley, onion and greens and toss well. Serve right away.
Make Ahead: The quinoa and sweet potatoes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.