This has quickly become my go to salad!! I love it. Although I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen the first time I cooked quinoa, but with some experimenting I discovered a great way to cook it and how to pack lots of flavour into it! This recipe really ticks every box, it’s packed with protein, bursting with flavour and with the sparkly red pomegranate seeds, is gorgeous to look at! A healthy substantial meal, perfect all year round.
I’ve always loved roasting vegetables, it brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies their flavour. The ingredients list may look long but this is one of those recipes where you can play around with the flavours a little and substitute the vegetables you like, whats in season or what you have available in the fridge or garden. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
If you’re in a real hurry there are some ready cooked pouches of quinoa available in the supermarkets, but check the ingredients as they can have a lot of extras added to them. You may have noticed that I’ve given a measurement for quinoa in millilitres. Thats because its easier to measure the ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water and so makes it easier to increase or decrease the quality you want. I will put some extra information on my ingredients section about quinoa as soon as possible.
1 red pepper
1 medium sized onion
1/2 butternut squash, about 500g
150g brown cap mushrooms
10 garlic cloves
1tsp dried chilli flakes
sea salt and black pepper
200ml quinoa (about 175g)
50g pumpkin seeds
about 6tbsp chopped fresh coriander
150g feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 220ºC and begin by preparing the vegetables for roasting. Deseed and chop the pepper into small dice. Peel and chop the onion into similar sized pieces. Peel and remove the seeds from the butternut squash and dice. Trim the courgettes and aubergine and cut into similar sized pieces. Wipe the mushrooms and roughly chop. Pile all the vegetables onto a large baking sheet with the whole unpeeled garlic cloves, drizzle over 5tbsp olive oil, the chilli flakes and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the vegetables to coat them in the oil and seasoning. This may look like a lot of vegetables but they reduce down in size when roasted.
Roast the vegetables for about 50mins-1hr turning occasionally until they begin to turn a caramelised golden brown.
Meanwhile rinse the quinoa in a sieve and add to a saucepan with 400ml water and a little salt. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for 10mins. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand until it has absorbed all the remaining water. The quinoa grains should have softened but still retain a little bite. Allow to cool slightly.
Dry fry the pumpkin seeds in a small dry frying pan until golden and beginning to pop! Carefully remove the seeds from the pomegranate, trying to avoid spraying the walls with red dots! Best to protect your clothes too!
When the vegetables are cooked, transfer to a large bowl with the cooked quinoa. Add the grated rind and juice of the lemon (about 3tbsp) with 3tbsp olive oil, plenty of seasoning and the coriander. Cut the feta cheese into small cubes and add to the quinoa with the toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. Gently stir with a large metal spoon to combine all the ingredients together and serve.
This is delicious served freshly made when its still slightly warm but it also makes a great cold salad so can be made well in advance. Alternatively cover and cool completely before storing in the fridge until needed. Remove the salad from the fridge for 30mins before serving if time allows.
I often keep a sealed container of this in the fridge for when I need a quick lunch or supper. Its great piled high with fresh salad leaves and some vine tomatoes. It keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.