It is totally autumn here in the South of New Zealand; everything has turned yellow, gold and beautiful orange. Inspired by autumn; this salad is a celebration of warm sweet flavour and brilliant burnt orange colours.
Roasted sweet pumpkin, wedges of orange, chickpeas and walnuts tossed through delicate quinoa with rocket, feta and dressed with a balsamic reduction. The orange really shines through and adds such wonderful flavour that really makes this warm salad.
Choose a nice piece of kent or butternut pumpkin and large juicy oranges. Although I haven’t tried it, I really think this salad would also work well with couscous instead of the quinoa, if you prefer. This is a truly yummy warm salad; full of flavour, texture and plenty of hearty ingredients to make a wonderful vegetarian meal or warm side salad. Enjoy!!
Preparation time: 35mins
Serves 4 (as a main)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1½ cups vegetable stock
- 2 oranges
- 1 kg (2 pound) piece of pumpkin, diced into 1cm cubes
- 1 cup chickpeas (cooked or tinned)
- 5 shallot bulbs, quartered
- ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups rocket
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled (omit if vegan)
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F
Place the quinoa, stock and juice of 1 orange in a pot; bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
Cut the remaining orange into wedges.
Place a large oven tray drizzled with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the heated oven to warm the oil. Remove from the oven when oil is hot.
Carefully place the pumpkin pieces, chickpeas, shallot bulbs and wedges of orange into the oven tray; toss well to coat with oil.
Return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until chickpeas are crisp and pumpkin tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Dry roast the walnuts in a hot pan for 2-3 minutes until golden; remove and set aside.
To make the balsamic reduction add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat; allow the vinegar to simmer; whisk for 4-5 minutes until reduced by half and vinegar is syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; dress with balsamic reduction to taste (2-3 tablespoons) and season with salt and pepper.
Serve in warm bowl on a bed of extra rocket and drizzled with a little more balsamic reduction. Yum!!
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