January 31, 2012

Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit Dressing

This recipe bubbled in my thoughts for a few days while I collected the ingredients and fluttered from place to place trying anxiously to finish an extensive To Do list. Days have been long winded and filled to the brim with work and school. Some time in the kitchen was a welcome retreat as I sliced, diced, and roasted my way back to sanity. 

There was music involved, a couple drinks, and dancing. By myself. It was amazing.  

This salad was well worth the effort.

Every step in the process is vital to building the depth of flavor. Fennel, shallot, apple and garlic are gently tossed with olive oil and roasted on high heat. Quinoa and hazelnuts are lightly toasted. The grapefruit dressing is fresh and exploits the roasted garlic cloves directly from the pan, tying the whole dish together. 

Do not skip a beat, and this will turn out just the way you imagine it. 

Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit Dressing
Time in kitchen: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Nutrition information per serving: 378 calories, 44 carbs, 20 fat, 8 protein

Salad Ingredients:
1 ½ cups quinoa, dry
2 ¾ cups organic vegetable stock
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 granny smith apple, thick slices
2 shallots, thick slices
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole (reserve for dressing)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
1 heavy pinch red pepper flakes
2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
1 grapefruit, sectioned and juiced
1 tablespoon fennel fronds

Grapefruit Dressing Ingredients:
¼ cup grapefruit juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
¼ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon agave
3 roasted garlic cloves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a fine sieve strainer, rinse quinoa under cool water until the water runs clear; at least one minute. Add quinoa to a pot on medium heat, stirring frequently to toast; about 2 minutes.  Increase heat to high, add vegetable stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook quinoa until stock is absorbed; about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a large cast iron roasting pan toss sliced fennel, garlic cloves, shallots and apple with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until tender and brown; about 30-35 minutes.
(Note: if vegetables are not browning, put under broiler for last 5 minutes)

While the vegetables roast, section a grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juice. Reserve the sections. Pour ¼ cup grapefruit juice in to a blender. Add olive oil, dried tarragon, parsley, salt, mustard, and agave; blend until thoroughly combined.

When the vegetables are done, remove the roasted whole garlic cloves and add them to the blender with the dressing. Pulse the dressing until garlic is incorporated.

To serve family style, add the fluffed quinoa to the roasting pan with the vegetables, tossing gently to combine. Pour the dressing evenly over the quinoa and vegetables. Top with toasted chopped hazelnuts, grapefruit sections and fennel fronds. 


  1. What an awesome combination of flavors! I love that time in the kitchen, slicing and creating. It's therapeutic. :)

  2. This sounds really good - very unique! Looking forward to trying it, especially the grapefruit dressing.

  3. Beautiful, delicious, and full of seasonal goodies! Such a wonderful salad!

  4. It looks really delicious and healthy. YUM!

  5. I love everything in that salad especially the grapefruit dressing! Simply delish!

  6. What an amazing blend of flavours! I love fruits in salads because they are so sweet and fresh. I'm glad you enjoyed making this salad. I would enjoy it immensely were I to eat it.

  7. I love the vision of you dancing around, drink in hand, and cooking this gorgeous meal! That is one of my favorite things to do when I have some down time. Cook, drink, dance. Life is good. Now, about this salad? AMAZING! What a divine combination of flavors. We are just discovering quinoa in our household and have fallen madly in love with it. Truly amazing stuff. This will probably be the next recipe in the line-up of quinoa yumminess.

    1. Life IS good! The great thing about cooking (and dancing) at home is so much love goes in to it. Everything just tastes better that way :) Thanks for the compliments! Let me know if you like this dish. I had a friend make it the other day and it got raves reviews.

  8. That grapefruit dressing sounds killer delicious, I want to try the whole thing. I dance by myself too, with drink in hand. hehe.

  9. I love fennel. This is a must to try, wonderful combination of ingredients.

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  11. This looks really amazing. I'm embarrassed to say I have never tried fennel. You make it look really stunning. Love the grapefruit dressing too. :)

  12. The fennel and the grapefruit dressing is a unique blend, but I really do think it would taste wonderful together! You do come up with some great flavor combos and this salad is no different. Keep them coming!

  13. Indeed, this salad is well worth the effort! Another scrumptious and beautiful recipe - Kudos!

  14. I really like this salad and your dressing sounds delicious. IknowI would enjoy this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  15. That is awesome--I would eat this in a heartbeat! Hope things calm down for you soon.

  16. Gotta try that one... and add a few years to my life at the same time! A. :)

  17. This sounds heavenly :) I've only recently starting cooking with quinoa and I haven't tried roasting it yet. This is a great excuse to give it a go

  18. Oh my goodness, this is heaven in a pan.

  19. Just goes to prove you can eat light and healthy without sacrificing any flavor!


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