December 9, 2022

kathleengkane

Be Inspired By Food

Harissa Carrot and Parsnip Salad with Quinoa

An up close, overhead shot of a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with cooked quinoa, chopped fresh dill, a creamy vegan yogurt sauce dolloped on top, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. All of this is set on a bed of radicchio leaves in a platter
An overhead shot of a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with cooked quinoa, chopped fresh dill, a creamy vegan yogurt sauce dolloped on top, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. All of this is set on a bed of radicchio leaves in a platter
An overhead shot of ingredients used in a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with quinoa and vegan yogurt sauce.
An overhead shot of boiled cut carrots being dried over a blue striped kitchen towel set inside of a baking sheet.
An overhead shot of cut carrots and parsnips being tossed with spices and olive oil in a large bowl.
An overhead shot shows a platter of radicchio leaves being drizzled with olive oil.

The weekend of harvest festivals is coming up here in Canada, and I always love the opportunity to make a visual feast of a salad. I always treat salads like a vegetable sundae–layers of flavour, colour, and texture. This one is very make-ahead friendly, a lovely blend of textures and flavours, and pretty hearty as well! It would be a great addition to any table, holidays or not ;). 

There is so much inspiration for vegan holiday recipes if you’re still planning.

I recently learned that I’ve been roasting carrots all wrong. I was just putting them straight in the oven, and when there were some hard edges, I just went with it. Now that I know better, I will share with you! No more borderline hard/weirdly too chewy bits for us.

The key is boiling the carrots for 5 minutes first–parsnips come along for the ride here! After I complete the little boil, I drain and dry them off. From there, toss with olive oil, harissa spice blend, salt, pepper, and away we roast for 25 minutes! The result is the perfect amount of tenderness but also good caramelization. 

I save the water that the carrots/parsnips were boiled in and use it to cook some quinoa here. Just a little extra flavour bump!

The enhanced sweetness of the carrots and parsnips mixes nicely with the spicy harissa spice blend (I like this one), creamy and garlicky yogurt sauce, the bitter edge of radicchio, toasty hazelnuts, fresh dill, and bright orange zest. The quinoa makes it a bit more satiating and I just like the fluffy texture in here.

I hope that you give this salad a try! Parsnips are one of the rare vegetables that I don’t enjoy so much, but I really loved them here. Something about the spice and the contrasting elements that made it work for me!

An up close, overhead shot shows leaves of radicchio holding cooked, multicolour quinoa grains.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a vegan yogurt sauce in a small grey bowl. Lots of fresh dill is on top and the shot is in direct sunlight.
An overhead shot shows a platter with radicchio, cooked quinoa and roasted carrots piled on top. To the side are bowls of vegan yogurt sauce and chopped, toasted hazelnuts.
An overhead shot of a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with cooked quinoa, chopped fresh dill, a creamy vegan yogurt sauce dolloped on top, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. All of this is set on a bed of radicchio leaves in a platter
An head on shot of a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with cooked quinoa, chopped fresh dill, a creamy vegan yogurt sauce dolloped on top, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. All of this is set on a bed of radicchio leaves in a platter

Harissa Carrot & Parsnip Salad with Quinoa, Radicchio & Yogurt Sauce

The contrast of flavours and textures in this roasted harissa carrot and parsnip salad are sublime! Layers of radicchio, cooked fluffy quinoa, harissa roasted carrots and parsnips, and toasty chopped hazelnuts are piled on a platter, and then topped with a creamy vegan yogurt sauce, fresh dill, and orange zest.

An up close, overhead shot of a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with cooked quinoa, chopped fresh dill, a creamy vegan yogurt sauce dolloped on top, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. All of this is set on a bed of radicchio leaves in a platter

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hr

Servings 6

Ingredients

Harissa Carrots and Parsnips & Quinoa

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch batons (cut thick ones in half and then into wedges)
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 3-inch batons (cut thick ones in half and then into wedges)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa spice blend
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained

Yogurt Sauce

  • ½ cup thick plain vegan yogurt (see notes)
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated with a Microplane
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh dill leaves, chopped (plus extra)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Salad Assembly

  • 1 head radicchio
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • zest of 1 very small orange (about 1-2 teaspoons)

Notes

  • I used the Herby Harissa spice blend from NY Shuk. I love all of their spices so much.
  • If you don’t have quinoa, I recommend substituting with a wild rice blend (like this one), or something like wheat berries/farro.
  • My favourite plain vegan yogurts for making savoury yogurt sauces are: Yoggu, Culina, Cocoyo or Simpla.
  • Make it ahead! You can make the yogurt sauce, roasted carrots/parsnips, and the quinoa up to 3 days in advance. Just store them all in separate sealed containers in the refrigerator. Bring the carrots/parsnips and quinoa up to room temperature before plating. If you’re feeling a bit of extra effort, you can slide the carrots/parsnips into the oven for 5 minutes to warm through before serving. The yogurt sauce might need a splash of cold water to thin it out a bit.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out a baking sheet.

  • Bring some water in a medium saucepan up to a boil. Drop in the carrots and parsnips and boil them for 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables (reserve the cooking water!) and dry them with a clean towel.

  • Transfer the carrots and parsnips to a baking sheet. Toss the carrots and parsnips with the olive oil, harissa spice blend, salt, and pepper. Once all pieces are evenly coated, spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet and slide into the oven. Roast until vegetables are tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Flip and toss them at the halfway point.

  • While vegetables are roasting, combine the quinoa, ⅔ cup of the carrot/parsnip cooking water, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring this up to a boil and then simmer until quinoa is cooked and the little tails are popping out, about 13-14 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • Make the yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

  • Separate the leaves of the radicchio, tear them up a bit, and then fan the pieces out on your serving plate. Drizzle the radicchio with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter most of the quinoa over top of the radicchio and within the layers, and then top with the roasted carrots and parsnips. Scatter the remaining quinoa over the top. Drop dollops of the yogurt sauce evenly over the whole salad. Finish with the chopped hazelnuts, extra dill, and the orange zest.

An 3/4 angle shot of a harissa carrot and parsnip salad with cooked quinoa, chopped fresh dill, a creamy vegan yogurt sauce dolloped on top, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. All of this is set on a bed of radicchio leaves in a platter