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