Spring…it’s so confusing in the mountains! Mother Nature finally melted off the snow, green was starting to show, and then it snowed again this morning.
It confuses my cooking too. I start mixing soups and salads a lot. I have cravings for fresh vegetables, but then it will be so cold, I’ll feel like soup again. On a salad-craving day, I decided to make this Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Quinoa Salad, via Closet Cooking. I also made homemade balsamic vinaigrette, because I didn’t have any on hand. I didn’t realize how easy it is to make salad dressing! It’s something I will be doing a lot more.
As with all salads, feel free to substitute items or add more veggies. I threw in cucumbers and loved them! This salad is great hot or cold, so I hope you enjoy.
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Quinoa Salad
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (fresh is best but I had to use dried and powdered thyme. Do a light sprinkling over the top)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- chopped cucumber
- 1 large bag of washed baby spinach
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
Placed chopped cauliflower and mushrooms on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the thyme, salt, and pepper. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, put vegetables aside, and put the walnuts on the tinfoil. Insert back into over, switch oven to broil, and cook until the walnuts start to brown.
While you are roasting the veggies and walnuts, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce heat, and cover. Let the quinoa simmer in the chicken broth until it has absorbed the broth and is fluffy. Remove from heat.
To make the dressing, just stir all the above ingredients together until the brown sugar is dissolved.
In a large bowl, add the cauliflower, mushrooms, walnuts, and quinoa. Top with as much dressing as desired, and stir together. Put on top of your spinach and chopped cucumbers. To finish, add as much feta cheese as desired (I passed the cheese around and let each member of my family put it on their salads individually).