“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.”
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.
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.
Wintry Citrus Rice and Quinoa Salad
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
- 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.
- In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the extra virgin olive oil, zest, and orange juice. Cover and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.