La Dolce Vita shares holiday recipes

She’s a Paris trained Le Cordon Bleu Chef that takes groups to Europe once a year, and today she’s filling our Indy Style kitchen with some delicious smells! Laura Wilson of La Dolce Vita makes us a quinoa side dish topped upon a bed of lettuce, along with a Fangipani Pear Tart!

Don’t forget, Laura also teaches culinary classes, does private chef work and offers wonderful lunches to the public every Wednesday. Most of the catering events are in her shop in at 165 S Main street, Roanoke.

Here are today’s recipes:

carrotRoasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 ounces mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk the paprika with the turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom and 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the carrots with the onion and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender.
Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 17 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the oil with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Add the salad greens and toss to coat. Spread the greens on a large platter. In the same bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the zest, mustard and 1 teaspoon of the spice mix; season with salt. Add the quinoa, walnuts, cranberries, parsley and roasted vegetables and toss well. Spoon the quinoa salad on the greens and serve.

laurapieFrangipani Pear Tart

1 Pie Crust

Almond Filling:
8 oz almond paste (in Kroger baking aisle and Fresh Market)
8 oz Sugar
4 oz Butter
2 oz Cake flour
2 oz eggs (about 2 large eggs not extra large)

With paddle attachment, mix almond paste and sugar at low speed until incorporated. Add the butter and flour until smooth. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
Spread this over the unbaked tart shell.

7 of the most pear shaped pears you can find (you may not need all of these) Be sure to look for similar shapes and size.
Cut the pears in half long ways. Carefully cut out the cores then peel them. Slice them horizontally, holding them together as you do.
Place into the filling, softly pressing them into the filling. Don’t worry that they are so much taller than the frangipani filling; the filling will rise when baked.

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Brush pears with apricot jelly that has been warmed and liquefied when done.

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