Roasted Fennel + Quinoa Crunch Salad

In Lunch + Dinner by Amanda0 Comments

A few months ago I made a last-minute decision to visit a friend of mine in Scotland. She’s actually from Vienna and is finishing up her master’s degree at St. Andrews, an extremely old and prestigious school right on the coast of the North Sea (and if that’s ringing a bell, it’s also known for it’s beautiful golf coarse, and it’s where Will met Kate). I’ve always been so, incredibly bad at keeping in touch with my good friends, which is why I’m certain it was she who messaged me first to see how I was doing. I remember I was completely overwhelmed with work at the time and was so happy to hear from her. It didn’t take long for us to nail down some dates, and before I knew it I had bought my plane tickets to Edinburgh.

This felt so good. Just knowing I was going to have a break in two weeks made work seem not so bad. I love looking forward to any kind of vacation (who doesn’t), and it lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. And to add to the stress-reducing, euphoric feeling of looking forward to an amazing trip, I didn’t plan anything. Usually, this would totally freak me out. I am a planner in the true sense of the word. I plan everything, and it’s because I love it. Every time my family or friends have visited me in Austria I’ve made and designed detailed itineraries for everyone (oh yeah!). But this time it was different. I put all my faith in my friend’s expertise (she’d been living there for almost a year) and decided to not worry about anything.

I won’t go into details, because I hope to write a whole post about my trip, but we had an amazing time. It was short and sweet, but a very full experience. I’m so glad I went.

quinoa-fennel-salad-salmon
Once I came home, I made this salad. Needless to say, I totally let loose in Scotland as far as my diet goes, and I ate and drink anything and everything I wanted. So naturally I came home feeling bloated and tired, craving veggies and hydration. I had an early flight home and went to the store pretty quickly after getting back to my flat (but not before making a detailed grocery list. Planner, remember).  This salad was everything I needed and craved, and was the perfect meal to help me get my shit back together. I served it with some simple oven-roasted salmon and fresh arugula. Now it was time to get back to the real world and back to work. The total worst. Thought coming back from vacation can sometimes be a disappointment, this salad is not!

Roasted Fennel + Quinoa Crunch Salad

Serves: 2-4
Total time: 30 minutes

A delicious and filling vegan salad featuring yummy roasted, caramelized fennel and always-good-for-you quinoa. Plus the fresh, hydrating veggies makes this a perfect summer side-dish or main dish. Easily packs for picnics, grilling parties, or pool parties. Goes great with roasted salmon if you want some extra protien!
Adapted from The First Mess.

  • Ingredients

    3/4 cup dry quinoa
    1 bulb of fennel
    4 radishes
    1/2 large cucumber
    4 springs of dill
    2-3 green onions
    1tsp + 1Tbsp olive oil
    2 tsp dijon mustard
    2 tsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp lemon juice
    2 Tbsp (20g) mixed nuts
    salt + pepper

  • Make it

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

    To make the quinoa: combine quinoa with 1.5 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

    Roast the fennel: Cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the core. Slice the halves fairly thin (about 1/4 inch) and toss them in a bowl with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the slices out on the lined baking sheet (as flat as you can) and pop it in the oven. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the fennel is softened and the edges are caramelized golden-brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. While the fennel and quinoa is cooking, chop the rest of your veggies.

    Assemble the salad: Fluff the quinoa with a fork and dump it into a large bowl. Add the roasted fennel, radishes, cucumber, dill, green onions and mixed nuts. Wisk the dijon, vinegar, lemon juice and 1tsp olive oil in a small bowl and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper and mix until combined. Plate and eat!

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