Quinoa w/ Roasted Carrots & Moroccan Spices

This is a beautiful fall salad (I could really eat this any time of year), I love the spice mixture made w/ dried spices, it reminds me of the season.

Roasting fresh carrots brings out their sweetness and paired w/ dates and cilantro, this has to be one of my favorite salads.

It's best served at room temperature, as are most salads. If you must refrigerate it, don't forget to take it out of the fridge an hour before and adjust seasonings.

This would be the perfect side dish to serve along a tagine, chicken or meat dish.

I will write out the original recipe, however, I left out the turmeric and maybe used a bit more of this or that, it really doesn't matter.

I also subbed in dates, because the original recipe calls for dried cranberries. Hate them.

You can also toss everything with the greens in a big bowl and dress the salad just before serving, this way the greens won't wilt.

Roasted Carrots & Spicy Quinoa Salad (adapted from Food & Wine):

2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
8 large carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
5 ounces mixed salad greens (I used arugula)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup dates, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400F°.

In a small bowl, whisk the paprika with the turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom and 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the carrots with the onion and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and toss to coat. Spread the carrots and onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and caramelized.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden (or toast in a toaster oven). Let cool, then coarsely chop.

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 17 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the oil with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Add the salad greens and toss to coat. Spread the greens on a large platter. In the same bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the zest, mustard, honey and 1 teaspoon of the spice mix; season with salt (this will be the dressing).

Add the quinoa, walnuts, dates, parsley and roasted vegetables to the bowl w/ the dressing and toss well. Spoon the quinoa salad on the greens and serve.

So yummy!