Red Quinoa & Roasted Carrot Salad
A satisfying salad is dependant on so many things: get the ratio of leaves to garnish wrong, or the balance of salty and sweet a little off, and you’ll find that you’re more inclined to pick out the tastier toppings, as the right flavours aren’t present throughout.
The Red Quinoa and Roasted Carrot Salad up on the UCOOK menu this week got this balance right, and combined quite a few of our most-loved ingredients at the same time. It takes a welcome break from the usual roasted butternut and zucchini to focus on onions and carrots (usually winter flavours), with the sweetness in both of these complementing the saltiness of the goat’s cheese well. We ended up cutting our carrots into disc shapes rather than battens which worked slightly better, as we got a really nice, even crisp on both vegetables.
Dark, leafy greens like spinach are a no-brainer for salad bases – they’ve got endless nutritional benefits, from high fibre content to vitamins and minerals, like Iron, Zinc and Vitamin C. Toasted pumpkin seeds are handy for adding that extra bit of crunch to summer salads, plus, they’re filled with healthy fats and are rich in antioxidants and protein too. You can always dry toast these ahead of time and then store them in a jar. They make a great on-the-go snack too, when you’re rushing out the door.
We’d suggest keeping this salad on hand in your line-up of dinner party dishes, or saving it for that night in the week when you want to keep your menu light, healthy and refreshing with minimal effort – the whole dish will take around 30 minutes to whip up (not including pre-heating). Order here and look out for another summer dinner favourite later in the week!
P.S. Our tip for keeping your quinoa light a fluffy? Make sure that you simmer it slowly, and top up with water if needed to prevent it from going dry. Once you see the first sign of sprouting, start tasting to see how far along it is. Nobody likes a soggy pseudo-grain.
- 200ml Red Quinoa
- 200g Carrot, cut in rounds
- 1 Medium Onion, cut in wedges
- 6g Thyme, finely chopped
- 60g Baby Spinach, rinsed
- 50g Goats Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Pumpkin Seeds
- 10ml Honey
- 10ml Dijon Mustard
- 2tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius, boil your kettle and ready a baking tray.
- Place your onion wedges on a baking tray along with your carrot rounds. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle your thyme over the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper.
- Roast your vegetables for 18-20min or until the onions have softened and your carrots have turned golden. Give the tray a little shift at the half way mark for even colouring.
- While your vegetables are roasting, using a pot with a lid, add your quinoa and 400ml boiling water. Bring the water to a simmer with the lid slightly askew until the quinoa is cooked, approximately 15min. Once cooked season and set aside.
- In a frying pan on medium heat add a little olive oil and when hot add your pumpkin seeds. When they start to pop, remove from the heat and add a generous amount of salt. Set aside to let cool.
- Using a small bowl combine the juice of one lemon, 2tbsp olive oil, honey and dijon mustard. Whisk briskly to allow the honey to dissolve, add more lemon juice if needed.
- To serve, combine quinoa, dressing and baby spinach to a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Split the salad between 2 plates and top with roast vegetables and crumbled goats cheese.
- Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.