I had planned the menu for Easter in my head before we even started making plans. I wanted to have a brunch in my parents backyard with a smoked salmon frittata, a spring pea and greens salad, a pastry with strawberries and some sort of grain salad, this one here would have been great.

As it is, one thing leads to another and it turns out we'll be driving out to the desert to visit one of my grandmas. Traffic. Heat. Eating at The Sizzler (I'm not kidding, it's one of the only options out there and Grandma Gladys uses the oven for storage space so you know she's not cooking). So I made the grain salad for a dinner with friends the other night and it was so simple and so pretty I had to share. There are three cooking vessles used, which for some dismisses this dish from the "simple" category, but grains are hands off cooking, so I think it classifies as such. I keep all the sweet potato nuggets on top for presentation sake, covered in a blanket of fresh chopped chives, but mixing eveything together works just fine.

I hope you have lovely weekend plans with family and friends and a table full of good food.

In other news, our "tech guy" (Hugh) has the email subscription up and running again, so if you're still trying to get updates, fingers crossed this attempt proves successful for all of you! Thanks for your patience.

GARNET PILAF // Serves 4-6

1/2 cup brown rice

3 sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika, divided

sea salt + pepper

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed

1 cup water or broth of choice

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

sprinkle of red chili flakes, if you like some heat

1 bunch fresh chives, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

Preheat the oven to 425'.

Rinse and cook the brown rice according to instructions. This takes the longest, so start the rice first.

Wash and dice the sweet potatoes into 1'' cubes. Pile them on a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp. of the smoked paprika and a few pinches of sea salt. Toss everything together with your hands to coat and spread them all out in a single layer. Sprinkle a few grinds of pepper.

Roast on the middle rack for 23-25 minutes until the edges are browned and crisp.

In a pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and saute the diced onion until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa, a pinch of sea salt, 1 cup water or broth of choice and bring it to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15-17 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork and cover it for another few minutes to finish.

When both the rice and quinoa are cooked, put them both in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil, remaining 1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika, red wine vinegar, chili flakes if using and toss everything together to mix. Taste for salt and pepper. Top it with the cubes of sweet potatoes and a ton of fresh chives and serve.

*It may not all be piping on at the point of serving and that is ok. I found it tasted best just a tad warmer than room temp.

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Reader Comments (34)

What a fabulous idea! Yum!

I like the looks of this salad. And that Easter menu you were planning, sounded so good. Have a great holiday, Sara!

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradrienne

This looks great! Are you going to post about the smoked salmon frittata?? I'm really curious to try that out!

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria @ Orchard Bloom

Your father sounds so wonderful. You should pray every single night about how damn lucky you are. He is spectacular.
Lunch on easter at the Sizzler? Wow ,you are soooo lucky
Once again, your father is the absolute best

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichael morris

Beautiful Sara. And I so know what you mean about eating out with some family members who live in the middle of seemingly nowhere! But at least you're all together and you can laugh about how you spent Easter this year : )

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

Sizzlers was my favorite restaurant growing up (probably tied with Red Lobster and Fresh Choice??). I'm thankful my tastes have changed, but once in a while, it's kinda nice to get a blast from the past. I hope you have a lovely Easter with your fam! The pilaf is so gorgeous. I can't get enough sweet potatoes.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

It's good you ate this beautiful dish before your trip to the desert. Sizzler...ouch. Try and smile.

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise | Chez Danisse

I will go ahead with the smoked paprika and also take the chili flakes option! The dish looks gorgeous.

How about you and I go out to that Sizzler and blow it to the high heavens (obviously in the middle of the night when it's not full of senior citizens) because I don't want to have to eat there anymore either!!!! You can see the salmonella growing on the salad bar (that ironically contains very little salad and a whole lotta gross) right before your very eyes! ps-love your dad's comment. my dad would write the exact same thing to me....if i had a blog...and if he knew how to use the internet.

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercourtney

That's bowl is overflowing with all of my favorite things. Tasty! I feel you on the Sizzler thing... I recently went on a road trip to San Antonio with my coworkers and we stopped at The Cracker Barrel not once, but twice. I asked them to make me a veggie omelet and it came back covered in chopped bacon. What?! (I totally ate it anyway.)

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCookie and Kate

I am loving the deep, burnt orange color. So earthy and delicious!

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMallory

So, today Kasey and I were talking about how one of the best things about you and Sprouted Kitchen is that your recipes are reliably both awesome and inspiring - like, every single time. (Plus there are those ridic photos.) And you've done it again. Oh Sizzler. Reminds me of visiting my own grandma as a kid in the desert, although her fave was Denny's.

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley

Thank you for this meal inspiration. Found it in my email this morning and made it straight away for our family Easter gathering. This was super easy and so tasty. I didn't have any sweet potato in my cupboard so made it with pumpkin instead. Went down a treat. Easter thanks from Brisbane, Australia.

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Ohhhhhh. Sizzler. Can't think of a better place to have dinner. ;-)

Love this side that you created. So satisfying, yet healthy. I want to dig into it right now.

i've got spring chives coming out my ears in the garden, and an abiding love (okay, worship) of roasted sweet potatoes. but i've never thought to combine the two. so thank you, thank you!


(btw: the cover!! so lovely.)

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Oh wow, this delicious! I've been looking for some new side dish recipes and this definitely just shot up to the top of the list.

April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Wow what a vibrant and utterly delicious pilaf!!! Love he ound of these ingredients!

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna @ the shady pine

Looks bright and beautiful and full of health!

Anna x

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Grazer

I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteroferte antalya 2012

Fantastic side dish! I love the red quinoa, but it's hard to find so I'll swap it out for brown quinoa.

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristi Rimkus

I love that you used sweet potatoes sounds like an amazing dish! I have to try this one out my husband has been dying for a yummy pilaf!

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourt Star

wow your garnet pilat looks just sooo good. Plus your photos makes it so tasty.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

This recipe is a keeper. It sounds so flavorful and yummy!

Thanks for the recipe! I made it this evening. I used what I had on had, which was barley and red lentils instead of brown rice, and cilantro instead of chives. I also put some roasted broccoli with the sweet potatoes. So delicious!

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

The combination of ingredients is simply perfect! 

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwaka network

Really excellent recipe! I didn't have chives so I substituted cilantro. I can't stop eating it. My kiddos love it also.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaryanne

This looks so delicious! I can't wait to make this on the weekend, thank you for a beautiful recipe!

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeah N

That looks so good! I love cooking and have just started my own blog. I hope to one day get mine as fancy as yours!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFreshdailydinners

Lovely! All these ingredients fit nicely with my diet... will give this a try. Thank you! ~ Be well. Hoda

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercooktocure

Yummy!! I am feeling hungry now..!

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEssay Writing

Hi, I’m Sonia, italian food blogger (and your 'fan') sorry for my bad english, I want tell you that I have included the link of this recipe (which I liked very much) in the section on my blog dedicated to “10 ways to make” (“10 Modi di Fare”) pilaf.
The post is ‘Riso pilaf’ I hope not to bother you, have a nice day.

February 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersonia monagheddu

Saw the picture in Health magazine and lost the recipe but still had the picture so of course was lucky to find it on the internet. You can really find about anything on the internet. So thanks for posting and am looking forward to trying this. The color is fabulous! cb

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris b

I made it for dinner and it was a raving success, and so simple to make too. Great for a kids packed lunch. Thanks for sharing.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Yum! Surprisingly complex flavors! I added chicken to my husband's bowl because we had some that was going to expire, and the last two nights were meat-free dishes from your site. He felt I owed him a meat night. I did not have chives, so I used green onions left over from the lemongrass tofu bowl. I added cilantro, because I think it should be on everything. :) I will be making this again.

September 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy

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