You guys, it’s citrus season. I friggin’ love citrus season.
I’m so grateful that my job has me working with produce every day because I’ve had the opportunity to try so many delicious new varieties of citrus fruit. One of the things I’d never tried until this year was kumquats. Not gonna lie, the first time I tried one, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. (I mean, you eat the whole fruit, peel and all – it weirds some people out.) But they very quickly grew on me and now I pop those little suckers like candy.
If you’ve never tasted a kumquat, you’re in for a treat. The juicy inner flesh is pretty tart and tangy, but the peel is super sweet and packed with intense citrus flavor. While I’ve grown to love kumquats on their own, I’ve also found that they make a delicious addition to many salads!
Enter this salad. This salad combines quinoa with sweet, earthy roasted beets, rich and buttery avocado, tangy kumquats, and nutty pumpkin seeds. Dressed with a citrus and sherry vinaigrette, this highly nutritious salad has no added oil or sugar and is chock full of both flavor and nutrients.
I mean, talk about nutritious. (Check out the nutrition facts at the bottom of this post!) This tasty quinoa salad boasts a full day’s worth of Vitamins C and K! And it’s packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats so it’s super filling. It can totally be a stand-alone lunch as well a nutritious side to dinner. You really can’t go wrong with this one.
(Making this salad out of season and can’t get your hands on any kumquats? That’s okay! Just substitute with your favorite citrus fruit.)
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1½ cups arugula
- 8-12 kumquats, thinly sliced*
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1 large, 2 medium, or 4 small beets, roasted**
- In a small bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, and salt and whisk well to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa with red onion, parsley and cilantro.
- Gently fold in arugula, kumquats and pumpkin seeds, reserving some for a garnish if desired.
- Peel and chop the avocado and roasted beets.
- Just before you are ready to serve the salad, add in the chopped avocado and beets and toss gently to combine. (If you are using red beets, they will turn the salad a pretty pink color; if you do not want the color to bleed into the quinoa, simply leave the beets on top as a garnish after you mix in the avocado.)
- Garnish with any reserved pumpkin seeds or sliced kumquats. Enjoy!
**To roast beets: Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool slightly before gently peeling the skin off the beets.