Golden Beet and Quinoa Pilaf

Golden Beet Quinoa Pilaf.jpg

A perfect fall side dish. I prefer golden beets to the red variety as they are far milder and don't overpower all of the other flavors in this recipe. 

Golden Beet and Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 4 as a side dish

2 medium golden beets (leaves/stems removed, but do not peel)

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 cup pistachios, lightly toasted and chopped
2-3 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
sea salt + freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets individually with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to one hour, until a knife can be easily inserted into the middle. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle, but still warm. With a paper towel, peel off the skin of each beet. It should easily rub away - this also helps to keep your hands from turning color! Chop beets into 1 inch pieces and add to a mixing bowl. 

Meanwhile, when the beets are about 30 minutes into cooking: 

Heat a small sauce pan to medium and sauté the shallot and garlic with olive oil until just translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add quinoa, vegetable broth, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes - until the quinoa is cooked and all of the broth is absorbed. Let stand covered another 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and transfer to bowl with the beets. 

Gently mix the quinoa together with the beets. Add parsley, pistachios, white balsamic vinegar, and salt + pepper to taste. 

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with additional parsley and pistachios. 

Leftovers will keep well for several days in the refrigerator. 

Note:

If you can't find golden beets, red would work just as well. You're pilaf will just turn pink as it sits!