Tarragon—Whether you love it or hate it, you have to agree: It’s distinctive. It gives a very interesting flavour to this Quinoa Roasted Veggie Salad with Gail’s Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette. Gail who? Gail Simmons is the lovely, big-hearted foodie maven responsible for this keeper. Thank you Gail, and thank you Food & Wine Magazine for sharing Gail’s delectable sauce.
Gail’s Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1 T each finely chopped fresh mint, fresh tarragon
- 1 T capers, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 T roughly chopped roasted walnuts, plus 1/2 cup extra, left in pieces, as garnish
- kosher salt, or sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Note: To roast the walnuts, place them on a tray in an oven preheated to 300F for 5-7 minutes, shaking once at half time. Or, toast them in a pan, on top of the stove over medium heat for a few minutes, shaking or stirring. Careful not to burn the nuts. Once they’re cool, chop them.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, mint, tarragon, capers, garlic and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.
Quinoa Roasted Veggie Salad with Gail’s Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette
- 3 – 4 carrots, cut in sticks
- small bunch of asparagus
- 3 small beets, washed well, cut into wedges
- 1 onion, cut in wedges
- 2 small sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 c quinoa, cooked
- Gail’s Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette (recipe above)
- 1 c of arugula
- 1/2 c roasted walnut pieces
Pre-heat oven to 420F.
On lined baking trays, spread vegetables in groups and brush lightly with olive oil and a little salt. Roast until tender, removing vegetables as they’re done. Asparagus will be done after about 15 minutes. Carrots and beets take 30 – 40 minutes. Arrange cooked vegetables, quinoa and arugula on plates. Dress with Gail’s Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette and garnish with walnut pieces.
- My super taster sisterJulia sampled Quinoa Roasted Veggie Salad with Gail’s Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette and pronounced it delicious. She has some stern advice for all food lovers. Do not attempt to use dried tarragon in place of fresh; dried is nasty (her words). If you must swap out the fresh tarragon, Julia recommends basil. Did I get that right, Julia?
- The flavour of roasted walnuts is vastly different from the flavour of regular walnuts. The roasted walnuts greatly enhance the Quinoa Roasted Veggie Salad.
- Have you been wondering about the health benefits of tarragon? I just learned that it can be ingested as a tea.
- Speaking of Tarragon, Listen to the beautiful song by Zach Coombs