More times than not, the dinners around here are never all that fancy. Who has time for fancy meals all the time, right? I’ll find one way to elevate a dish, but the other ingredients that accompany it are simple, just like in this salad. This recipe is made even simpler with Melissa’s Produce peeled baby carrots that are ready to rock when you are.
Truth be told, I’m generally not a fan of jam, unless I’m in a really sweet mood. Normally, I want to nit-pick all those bready flavors in my toast that’s topped with Kerrygold butter and truffle salt, so I nix the jam on my toast, but it does get used in other applications.
The elevation of this dish lies with the glazed carrots. Carrots are great on their own, but I always like a fancified version, especially when it’s quick like this method. You broil the carrots for a bit, until you see them start to color and wilt ever so slightly. Then, you season them with salt and pepper, and toss with your favorite jam. In this case I used my cousin Gary’s home grown and hand made black currant jam. He’s an amazing gardener, preserver, and cook! Once you mix that with the carrots, along with some apple cider vinegar to add a bit of brightness to the dish which doubles as a jam-thinner, and fresh thyme for a little herbaceous kick, they’re done. Yeah, they’re just carrots, but now they’re rock-star glazed carrots!
These glazed carrots can be used as an awesome side dish to a main meal, or they can be the star of the dish as I’ve made them here. I decided to make some quinoa with veggie stock, top that with the glazed carrots, and then for a satiating, and healthy fat, avocado. For a little extra protein kick, some hemp seeds get sprinkled on top. The Hubbs looooves this salad. As I was working on this post for you, He’d come into the office, and I’d hear “oooohhhh’s” and “aahhhhhh’s”. When the Hubbs loves it, I know you’re going to love it too.
Here’s a quick little video showing you the basics!
Glazed Carrots & Quinoa Salad
This dish is simple, yet over-delivers on flavor!
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- 1 Pound Melissa's Produce Baby Carrots peeled & washed
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper freshly cracked
- 1/3 Cup Fruit Jam any kind will work, I used black currant
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme roughly chopped
- 1 Cup Quinoa not cooked
- 1 3/4 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Whole Avocado sliced
- 1/4 Cup Hemp Seeds
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Add the carrots in when the oil is hot and just begins to shimmer, along with the salt and pepper. Toss, and place in the oven for 20 minutes. When 10 minutes is up, toss the carrots, to brown evenly.
While the carrots cook, add washed quinoa to a medium-sized pot, and add the vegetable stock. Cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer, and cook per package instructions which is usually 15 minutes.
Remove the carrots from the oven, and add the jam, vinegar, and thyme, tossing to coat. Place skillet on the stove top, under medium heat again, to heat the jam mixture through and reduce slightly, about 3 minutes.
Divide the quinoa mixture among four plates, topping with an even amount of carrots. Cut the avocado in quarters, peel, and slice. Place avocado slices on top of the carrots, and top with hemp seeds.
Peeled baby carrots from Melissa's Produce make an already quick meal even faster in the kitchen! If you can't find them, just use the smallest carrots you can find at your farmers market or local grocer. Make sure to peel the carrots, and chop off the tops before cooking.
*Disclaimer: Melissa’s Produce supplied me with the carrots, but I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.