Give your cooking the gourmet treatment with this exquisite salad. Spicy, flavorful quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes complement cool slices of avocado, and pan-friend tortilla strips add the perfect crunch.
What you need
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked in vegetable stock and cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 jalapeño, minced
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced and divided
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola Oil
- 2 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Juice of one lime
- 2 tomatillos in olive oil, skins removed
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
- 2 avocados, diced
What you do
- In a medium bowl place quinoa, jalapeño, 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until soft in the middle and lightly browned; be careful not to let the sweet potatoes burn.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, toss the tomatillos with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, add the vinegar, 1/4 cup cilantro, and agave nectar, and pulse to combine. With the motor running, pour in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a thin stream. Continue blending until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a small, heavy pot and heat until the oil shimmers. Add the tortilla strips and fry until crisp and browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
- Place a 3-inch ring mold in the center of one of 4 salad plates. Fill with 1/4 of the quinoa mixture and press down with a spoon to pack the mold, smoothing the top. Place 1/4 of the sweet potato pieces on top of the quinoa and press down gently. Top with 1/4 of the avocado and press down gently. Carefully remove the mold. Repeat on the remaining salad plates.
- Carefully place 2 tortilla strips parallel to each other about 1 inch apart on top of each timbale. Place 2 more tortilla strips perpendicular on top of those. Top the timbales with the microgreens and drizzle the dressing around the timbales.
Photo by Linda Long