Beetroot & Quinoa Salad With Horseradish Cream Dressing

recipe

Beetroot Quinoa Salad

Last week Mr NQN left me.

Well more correctly he left me for a cycling trip. I realise that I have no reason to feel abandoned because I leave him for trips all the time. But nevertheless I did. I was nervous. I haven't been left alone in our place ever in the over 10 years that we've been together. I bit my lip and wondered all sorts of things.

Me: What would I do for the four day long weekend?

Me: If I were single would I be Bridget Jones?

My brain: "Yes. Yes you would."

Me: What if I go out and then come back and there's a serial killer inside our apartment and he waits til I am asleep and then kills me. Arrrghhhhhh! Runs out of own head screaming...(and not meaning to scare you but serial killer BTK did this!)

And then this scene from Ferris Bueller played on loop in my mind:

Anyway, this all happened on the night before he left. And I see you giving me that withering look. I understand. But I made him this salad and watched him in a melancholy way. "You know you don't have to leave," I said although I knew that it was useless at this point. No amount of food bribery can stand between the person that you love and them doing what they love. So I ate the rest of this salad in silence.

At the risk of sounding immodest, this salad is really, really good. There are no process photos because it was something that I threw together and didn't expect to blog about but once I tried it, I scooped up the rest and put it on a plate to photograph. I know that for some salad can be a hard sell but this one really has a bit of everything to keep the palate happy and it is also the perfect cooling down dish to serve. I actually preferred it when it had cooled and the flavours melded after a few hours and the next day. And the leftovers were superb and staved off any late night snacking well.

So tell me Dear Reader, do you get nervous and do things like check closets? And what is your favourite 90's movie? And are you a fan of salads or are they a hard sell for you?

Beetroot Quinoa Salad

Beetroot, Quinoa, Asparagus and Smoked Trout Salad With Horseradish Cream Dressing

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1.5 hours (mainly roasting the beetroot and cooking the quinoa)

  • 3 beetroot, washed well but not peeled (I usually roast at least six of them if I am going to roast them for this long)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (farro also works well in this)
  • 250g/0.5lb or about 1/2 a large smoked trout, filleted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons pure cream
  • 1.5 teaspoons horseradish (or to taste)

This components of this salad are best done the day ahead so that they can cool but it's also good serving this warm too.

Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and place the beetroot in a oven proof pot with lid in drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Roast for 1-1.5 hours until a knife inserted can cut through easily. After 1 hour place the asparagus on a baking tray and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and place in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes (depending on how thick the asparagus is). Allow the beetroot to cool and then remove the skins and chop into chunks. Cut the asparagus into thirds.

Step 2 - While the beetroot is roasting, cook the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve and run water through it until it runs clear. Place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to low and cook for 30 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork and place on serving plate to cool.

Step 3 - Mix the salad dressing by whisking the cream and horseradish together. Top the quinoa with the beetroot, asparagus, smoked trout and onion. Add the dressing and serve.