We love all the things in bowls, yes. But we’re open-minded – and ready for a stacked salad like this one served in a jar. Dishes stacked in jars aren’t new, but we’ve found ourselves relying on a good old Mason jar again lately to take our bowl recipes on-the-go!

Food stylist and cookbook author Maria del Mar Sacasa is going deep on the protein-rich grain, quinoa, in her new cookbook, quite literally named, The Quinoa Cookbook – ancient grain recipes front to back. This classic combination of beets, blue cheese and walnuts has us hooked!  

This is one of those ingredient combinations that, like the little black dress, always seems to be in style. It’s no wonder: Earthy sweet beets, sharp creamy blue cheese and bitter greens simply go together beautifully. Skillet-toasted quinoa provides additional texture and protein. Like chimichurri, this vinaigrette’s flavors grow more robust if allowed to sit at room temperature for at least one day.

Serves 4


For the vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove
1⁄3 cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup watercress with stems
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
finely grated zest of 1 orange
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
3 cups skillet-toasted cooked quinoa
8 oz cooked red or golden beets, cut into slices or wedges
2 oz Stilton cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the vinaigrette:

Finely chop the garlic. Add the walnuts to the cutting board on top of the garlic and chop finely. Transfer the garlic-walnut mixture to a medium bowl. Finely chop the watercress and add it to the bowl. Add the vinegar, mustard and orange zest and whisk to combine. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

For the salad:

Divide the quinoa evenly among 4 plates or jars. Top each quinoa mound with an equal amount of beets. Sprinkle the beets with cheese, whisk the dressing to recombine, and dress each salad with 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

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