Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad with an Orange and Pomegranate Dressing

 

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Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad with an orange and pomegranate dressing

Myskikurpitsa-kvinoasalaatti ja appelsiini-granaattiomenakastike

I served up this quinoa salad as part of my brunch yesterday and it went down a treat.  It is one of my favourites.  Quinoa has a lovely nutty taste that works perfectly with soft sweet squash and dates, zesty orange and tangy pomegranate.  I guess this is slightly North African in style, or at least what I imagine you would find served alongside a Moroccan feast!  I have to thank David at work for introducing me to this salad and teaching me his secret recipe.  It has become a staple of my repertoire.

At my brunch I added extra chickpeas roasted in a little olive oil, dried cumin and a touch of cayenne pepper.

For some other salad options check out my Beetroot and Blood Orange Salad , Black Rice Superfood Salad with Soy Cashew Dressing , Panzanella – Italian Bread Salad and Summer Salad with Roasted Butter Beans and a Sultana Dressing

Butternut squash and quinoa salad with an orange and pomegranate dressing – serves 4

100 g quinoa (dry weight) I used a mix of black and regular organic quinoa

200 g mixed salad leaves

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

2 tsp dried rosemary

1 orange

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 tbsp olive oil and extra for roasting

maple syrup (if necessary, see note below)

1 pomegranate

a large handful of almonds, toasted

100 g dried figs or dates, roughly chopped

a good handful of coriander, roughly chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c

Cook the quinoa as per manufacturers instructions.  Refresh in cold water and leave to drain for as long as possible.  You don’t want a watery, wet salad.

Toss the squash in a little olive oil, sprinkle with the dried rosemary and season well.  Roast in the oven  for 25 -30 mins until it is tender and beginning to caramelise along the edges.  Set to one side.

In a large bowl grate the zest of the orange, squeeze out the juice and add along with the pomegranate molasses and olive oil.  Cut the pomegranate in half and use a wooden spoon to bang the back of the fruit and knock out the seeds.  Squeeze out any extra juice into the orange juice mixture.  Whisk well and season.  If your orange isn’t that sweet, add a little maple syrup to the dressing.  It should be tangy, but not sour.

Tip the quinoa into the dressing and mix thoroughly   Add the leaves, squash, almonds, dates/ figs and coriander and gently mix into the quinoa.  Check the seasoning and serve immediately.

 

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