Curating recipes has been more difficult to do in the craziness of the season. December is crazy. Do you feel it? And sometimes the last thing we need to do is try a new recipe. So when my friend Emily mentioned that her friend Adrian has been wanting to learn more about food blogging and offered to create a winter-inspired meal, I flung open my door, preheated my oven, and got out my camera to capture this gorgeous, beet & watermelon radish holiday bowl. Adrian has a passion for cooking and creating recipes that are different, inventive, and delicious. I gave him the reins to come up with a recipe, prepare it, write about how to make it—and I would be acting as stylist & photographer. So with great pleasure, I'm introducing you to Adrian's Holiday Quinoa Bowl with a (GORGEOUS) balsamic glaze. The taste combinations plus the color were truly gorgeous to style & shoot. INGREDIENTS Serves 3-6 + 3-4 medium-sized beets and beet greens + Watermelon radishes (about 3 cups) + 2 cups washed Inca Quinoa + ½ red onion, finely diced + 1½-cup balsamic vinegar + 2 tbsp. honey + Olive oil + 2-3 garlic cloves (minced) + 1-2 Sprigs of rosemary + salt and pepper + ½-¾ cup feta cheese (optional)
METHOD: Preheat oven to 400° and wash quinoa in cold water until water runs clear. This removes any bitter flavor from the quinoa. Combine 2 cups of quinoa with 4 cups of water and a half-teaspoon. Bring quinoa to a boil and then reduce to medium-low to simmer. Let quinoa cook until tender (about 15-20 min) stirring gently every few minutes. Set aside once complete.
Cut the beets and watermelon radishes into ½ inch cubes/wedges. Place beets and radishes in a shallow metal baking dish. Use parchment paper on the baking dish to help helps prevent vegetables from sticking to the pan.Mix 3-4 tbsp. of olive oil with: a few sprigs of rosemary, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle this mixture over top the vegetables. Place the vegetables in the oven for 25-30 minutes keeping an eye on the vegetables. You want them to be tender.While you are waiting on your quinoa and vegetables to cook, start on your balsamic glaze. Get a small saucepan and mix 1-½ cups of balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp. of honey, and 2 tsp. of olive oil. Set the stove on medium to medium-low heat and allow for the mixture to reduce. Make sure to stir consistently so that the mixture doesn’t burn. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and place in a bowl to cool down to room temp. As it cools, the mixture will thicken even more.
Place the green leaves and stems from the beets in a shallow bowl. Top with quinoa, roasted vegetables, and onions. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction (and add feta cheese if you want). You can keep it vegan and omit the cheese completely!
Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season throughout the new year. I'm going to come back in January with a wonderful New Years salad recipe already in the works! Thank you for making 2015 such an encouraging and successful year of food styling and blogging. I started without knowing what I'm doing... and still do not... but I'm loving every minute!