This super healthy salad recipe is packed with protein and iron thanks to its quinoa base. Similar in appearance to couscous or millet, quinoa’s small round grains have a mild nutty flavour and a firm, slightly chewy texture. The addition of roasted butternut squash to the salad brings with it a caramelised sweetness, while red onion adds a crisp texture and vibrant colour. This salad recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian, making it a safe bet to serve when entertaining. If you’re looking to beef up the salad try adding crumbled feta or goats’ cheese, pine nuts and roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 150g quinoa
- ½ vegetable stock cube
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 80g salad leaves
- For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F/Gas Mark 6. Spread out the butternut squash pieces in a large ovenproof dish, pour over the olive oil and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse it under cold running water to remove the seeds’ bitter coating. Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, adding the vegetable stock cube to the cooking water. You’ll know when the quinoa is ready as the seeds release little white threads that curl around them. Once cooked, drain off any remaining water, leave to cool, then break up with a fork.
Put the red onion, salad leaves, quinoa and butternut squash into a For the dressing: whisk together the vinegar and the oil and season. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything together.
Originally from Peru, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, is a good source of magnesium and is gluten-free.