Quinoa salad with roasted squash, mint and pumpkin seeds
Quinoa can be exciting with the right dressing, seasoning and spices
Quinoa salad. Photograph: Emma Jervis
- Serves: 4
- Course: Side Dish
- Squash, about 700g
- 200ml olive oil
- 400g quinoa
- Zest and juice of 2 juicy lemons
- ½ cup chopped mint leaves
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper
Quinoa, like potatoes, rice, pasta and polenta is unexciting until you add interesting ingredients such as a dressing, seasoning and spices. It’s so important not to overcook it, so I suggest that you keep an eye on it once it has been boiling for five minutes and keep tasting it as it’s important to catch it when it still has a little bite to it.
1 Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and warm a tray. Break open the squash and cut roughly into 2cm dice. Put into a bowl and add just enough oil to evenly coat it all, then season with salt and pepper. Spread on to the hot baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
2 Cook the quinoa in a pan with plenty of salted water and simmer for about seven to nine minutes. In the meantime mix the remaining oil with the zest and juice of the lemons. Drain the quinoa, return it to the saucepan and mix in the lemon dressing. Put a lid on the saucepan and let the quinoa continue cooking in the remaining heat as it absorbs the dressing.
4 Lightly toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan. Take a large serving bowl and add in the warm quinoa and fold in the roasted squash, mint leaves and seeds and toss everything together gently, being careful not to mush up the squash. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.