Quinoa and black beans are pillars of my pantry. In summer, I toss them into a satisfying, protein-packed salad with ripe tomatoes. In winter, I replace the tomatoes with something just as refreshing yet more seasonally appropriate: vibrant, juicy oranges.
A quinoa and black bean salad makes an easy, wholesome lunch or a good side for supper. Gluten-free and vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, its also an ideal dish to share at potlucks and other gatherings.
In addition to fresh orange segments, this salad has an orange-coriander dressing made with orange juice, orange zest, cilantro leaves and toasted coriander seeds. It brightens up the palate and is just the sort of comforting yet cheerful nourishment we crave this time of year.
PLACE quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.
PREPARE oranges while quinoa is cooling. Finely grate the zest of one orange and set aside. Cut oranges into segments (see box), reserving the juice, and set aside.
WHISK together orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, coriander seeds, salt, a few cracks of pepper and chopped cilantro in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings if desired.
PLACE quinoa, black beans, onion and orange segments in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.
SERVE immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. YIELD: 4-6 servings.
Emily Ho is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a blog for people who love food and home cooking.