I love this salad because it hits on all the textural and flavor elements you want in a great side dish. It has tender braised beets, crunchy quinoa, crumbly cheese and crunchy sunflower seeds. It's a little salty, slightly sweet and each bite keeps you coming back for more.
Technique tip: Use a paper towel to rub the skins off the cooked beets.
- 2 large red beets
- 8 baby candy strip beets
- 8 baby yellow beets
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 heads frisée
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 6 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place washed beets by color in separate roasting pans.
2. Cover the beets with water and place a sprig of thyme in each pan.
3. For the red beets, add 1 cup of red wine vinegar and cover with foil. For the yellow and candied strip beets, add 1 cup of white wine vinegar to each pan and cover with foil.
4. Place the pans in the oven. The red large beets they will need 30-40 minutes or until fork tender and the baby beets they will need 20 minutes. Set aside and cool.
5. Once cool enough to handle peel each beet.
6. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the red beets and shingle them on the place in a circle pattern. Cut the yellow and candy strip beets in half lengthwise.
7. In a medium pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa to pot and cook until it sprouts, about 25 minutes. Drain if needed, and place in fridge until cool.
8. Cook the quinoa an air fryer, or on a sheet pan in the oven, until it's crispy and crunchy.
9. In a mixing bowl combine frisée, sunflower seeds, baby beets and mix with olive oil and salt. Place on top of red beet slices and sprinkle crumbled queso fresco and crispy quinoa.