This is a salad recipe that you’ll want to hold on to for life. It’s (relatively) easy, fast, fresh, and topped with something that I hold near and dear to my heart: avocado.
I decided to make this the other night for dinner because I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten a salad. It’s been a busy few weeks at work and one night, I ended up having chocolate brioche, gelato and chocolate covered strawberries for dinner.
Long story short, I needed some greens.
My favorite part of this dish (besides the avocado) is the red onions. You toss them with some olive oil and salt and let them roast in the oven until they’re caramelized and slightly crispy. When you mix them with the sweet mango, avocado and quinoa…let’s just say that you won’t regret the 30 minutes of roasting time.
This song came up on my playlist earlier. It’s hard to be in a bad mood after listening to the Queen of Soul.
Mango Quinoa Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing (from Food52)
for the salad:
1 cup regular, red or black quinoa, rinsed well in a strainer
2 cups water
1 large red onion, halved stem to root and slivered
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups micro greens (I used a rainbow blend package from Whole Foods herb section: mizuna, curly cress, red and yellow beet, arugula, cabbage) – if not available, mesclun, spring or baby greens are fine, rinsed and dried
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1-2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
for the lemon ginger dressing:
3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the quinoa: In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until most or all of the water is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. The little “tails” should pop free from the grain and it should still be pretty chewy. If any liquid remains, strain the quinoa. I usually add it to a strainer either way and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process, then continue to fluff it every so often as I’m preparing the other ingredients.
Toss onion slivers with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes. Resist stirring until they begin to brown, then stir occasionally; not too much or they will not brown as nicely. Remove when they are soft and nicely colored. Let cool.
Pit and dice mangoes. Try to squeeze out some of the juices from the fibrous part surrounding the pit before discarding it – there’s often a lot of juice in that section.
Make the dressing: Whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice. Whisk in the ginger and add salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the salad: Mix the quinoa, mango (and juices), black beans, and cilantro together. Spread the micro greens on a large plate and layer the quinoa mixture over the greens. Top with the roasted onions and the avocado slices. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.