The smokiness of the vegetables adds an interesting taste element to this delicious salad. If you don’t have a smoker, roast the vegetables in a 400°F oven until tender.
2 medium-large beets, cut into quarters
4 large carrots, cut in half lengthwise
¾ cup quinoa, rinsed for 1-2 minutes
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup water
½ cup diced red onion
1 ½ cups sliced and/or halved cherry tomatoes
½ a jalapeno, finely diced
2-3 tbsp fresh thyme or summer savoury leaves
10 fresh beet leaves, finely sliced crosswise (can also use kale (ribs removed) or swiss chard)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
Preheat smoker to 225°F.
Transfer the beets to a heat-proof shallow pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Do the same for the carrots in a separate pan (this prevents the beets from bleeding into the carrots). Smoke the vegetables, uncovered, for about 3 hours, or until tender. Let cool and then cut the vegetables into 1/2” chunks.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the rinsed quinoa and toast for 2-3 minutes. Add the water, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat. Fluff with a fork. Cover with the lid, and let steam for 10 minutes. Remove lid and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, smoked vegetables and the red onion, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, thyme leaves and beet leaves. Toss.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings.