Meet ‘Stirmaker’ Kate + Fresh, Wintry Citrus Rice and Quinoa Salad

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“A New England girl at heart, I love to mark the changing seasons in my kitchen with recipes that include fresh, seasonal fruits, vegetables, and ingredients. I started my recipe blog Tasty Seasons so that I could share these recipes with others. When I’m not in my kitchen, I love to ski in the winter and play in the ocean in the summer.”

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One of the things I like best about this Wintry Citrus Rice and Quinoa Salad is how bright it is, both in taste and appearance. At a time of year when the days can be a bit gray, the vivid colors of this salad are a welcome break. I like to use a mix of bright naval oranges and deep red blood oranges to maximize the sunshine-on-a-plate effect.

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My other favorite thing about this salad is how quick and easy it is to put together. Onion and red pepper get a quick sauté before adding the basmati rice and quinoa blend. While that’s cooking, I slice a few oranges and get the toppings ready to go. Once the rice is done, everything comes together in a beautiful and filling salad. Sometimes I will add sliced chicken or a bit of salmon while other times I prefer to keep it vegan and just enjoy the happy medley of flavors in the salad.

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Wintry Citrus Rice and Quinoa Salad 

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup Della Basmati and Quinoa

1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika

2 cups (16 fl. oz.) low sodium vegetable broth

a few dashes of hot sauce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 medium naval orange

Juice of 1 medium naval orange

4 oranges (I like a mix of naval and blood oranges)

½ cup thinly sliced scallions

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

¼ cup dried cranberries

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DIRECTIONS

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to cook the rice, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the rice, paprika, broth, and hot sauce. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to simmer for 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
  2. In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the extra virgin olive oil, zest, and orange juice. Cover and set aside.
  3. Cut both ends off of 1 of the oranges and stand the flat end on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the peel and white pith away from the orange. Turn the orange on its side and slice into discs (see photos). Repeat with the other 3 oranges.
  4. When the rice is cooked, shake the dressing then pour over the rice. Stir to coat the rice. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl. Top with the orange slices, scallions, almonds, and dried cranberries. This salad is delicious warm, room temperature, or cold.

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Wintry Citrus Rice and Quinoa Salad | Della Rice

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