Isn’t funny how your cravings for food change along with the weather??
After Labor Day, I feel like everything Fall was pushed upon us. Pumpkin Lattes! Boots! Halloween candy!
But Chicago was still enjoying 70-80 degree weather days and I just wasn’t ready. Now that Halloween has passed, stores are already putting up Christmas decorations. (Thanksgiving is totally getting the shaft.)
50 degree weather leaves just enough chill in my bones to accept winter is right around the corner. So much chill that I was craving a warm salad. This isn’t a normal thing for me. Fruits or vegetables (that don’t require to be cooked to eat) must be stored in the fridge. Cold, crisp produce tastes so much better!
But there are times I manage to surprise myself. I came up with a Roasted Pear & Portobello Quinoa Salad on Monday night.
I cranked up my oven to 400 degrees and loaded a baking sheet with sliced pears, Portobello mushrooms, onions and garlic. 10 minutes is all you need. The pears are cooked but still firm. Portobello slices have softened just enough. And of course, the smell of roasting garlic and onions is just heavenly. As long as the quinoa is cooking by the time the pear mixture is in the oven, this salad will be on your table in 15 minutes. Quick & Easy!
This isn’t a salad I would be eating in the dog days of summer, but as long as it’s cold, a roasted warm salad isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Roasted Pear & Portobello Quinoa Salad, serves 6
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 pears, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced thick
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 cups quinoa, uncooked
- 2.5 cups chicken stock
- Baby Spinach
- Goat cheese crumbles
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix vinegar & oil to make salad dressing. Season with salt & pepper. In a large bag, add pears, onion, mushrooms and garlic. Add half of the salad dressing. Close bag and distribute salad dressing.
- On a lined baking pan, add marinated pear mixture. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. When done cooking, let the mixture cool for 2 minutes.
- In a sauce pan, bring quinoa and chicken stock to a boil. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Place baby spinach in a large serving dish. Place quinoa on top of spinach. The spinach will slightly wilt. Layer pear & Portobello mixture on top of quinoa. Sprinkle goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle the rest of the dressing.