Beet Salad with Quinoa & Harissa-Curried Yogurt

Recipe by Executive Chef Chris Parks
SoDel Concepts

¼ cup EVOO
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp harissa sauce
1 7-oz container Greek yogurt (any fat content will work) 
2 lbs red beets
1 cup dry quinoa
1 oz arugula greens
16 each, picked leaves of tarragon
2 oz Thai cashews, roughly chopped (substitute other nuts if desired)
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (feta or pecorino also work well)
2 oz EVOO
1 oz red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Trim off the tops of the beet greens, discard or clean and save for a salad. Place the beets with skin on into a stockpot and fill with cold water. Cover the beets with water by at least 4 inches. Bring to water to a boil and then drop it down to a low simmer.

Depending on size, the beets will take about 2 hours to cook. You can test this by removing a beet from the water and piercing it with a knife. The beet is fully cooked once there is little to no resistance to the knife going through it.

Once the beets are cooked, pour off the hot water into the sink and place the pot into the sink. Then, run cold water over top of the beets. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin by hand. It should remove fairly easily if done in a timely manner.

Trim the ends off the beets and discard them, along with the skin. Cut the beets into 1’’ x 1’’-thick slices or cubes. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.

Take the cup of quinoa and rinse with cold water inside a fine-mesh strainer. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked. Cool completely before using.

In a large sauté pan, add ¼ cup of olive oil and turn it on a low-medium heat. Add the garlic and curry powder. Lightly sauté the garlic and powder for about 2 minutes and then add the harissa sauce. Stir the sauce and continue to cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Next, stir the entire garlic mixture into the Greek yogurt. Mix well, until combined, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lay down four plates and divide out the curried yogurt onto all of the plates, evenly spreading it out. Take the chilled beets and dress them with 2 fluid ounces of olive oil and 1 fluid ounce of vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in the quinoa and lightly mix into the dressed beets.

Lay down half of the beet-and-quinoa mixture over top of the yogurt on all of the plates. Add some arugula greens into the layers of beets. Add the rest of the beets and top off with the remaining arugula, goat cheese, Thai cashews and tarragon.