Roast butternut squash quinoa salad
Serves 6-8 persons.
Takes 2-3 hours. You can make short cuts by purchasing roasted peppers and butternut squash but I prefer to make from scratch.
Vegetables / Fruit / Oil
Butternut squash – 1 large or 2 small
Carrots – 3-4
Bell peppers – 3-4
Red onions – 2 medium
Green lentils – 1 cup
Quinoa – 1 cup
Sultanas – 1/2 cup
Maple syrup – 1-2 tsps
Mild curry power – 2-3 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp
Ground nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
Mango chutney – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/2 lemon
White or black pepper and salt to taste
Roast butternut squash
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
Cut the butternut squash into lengthwise quarters, drizzle olive oil over the squash, sprinkle black pepper and put in the oven for 45′ to 60′. Once cool, cut the squash into cubes.
Slide the peppers lengthwise into quarters or eighths, drizzle olive oil and pop in the oven for 30′ – 45′ until they are roasted and juicy. Remove skins (not mandatory).
Slice the onions lengthwise and fry in 1 tbsp olive oil. Once soft and translucent, add the maple syrup, stir for 2′-3′ and remove the heat.
Soak the sultanas
Boil water and pour over the cup of sultanas. Let them soak for 10′-15′, then pour off the water and keep for later.
Cook the lentils
Rinse the green lentils and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook until soft taking care not to over cook them.
Steam the carrots but don’t overdo it – once you can put a fork through remove from the heat. Keep the water and add the water from the sultanas. You’ll need it to cook the quinoa.
Prepare the quinoa the same way you like your rice. I always heat a tbsp of olive oil, rinse the quinoa and add it. Stir fry for a 1′-2′ and then add the water from the steamed carrots and soaked sultanas at a ratio of 1:2.5 cups quinoa:water. This adds natural sweetness to counteract the bitterness of the turmeric.
The Grande Finale
Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a large shallow pan, add the herbs. Turn down the heat. Once the herbs are warm, add the quinoa, sultanas, and caramelised onions and stir. Add the carrots, lentils and roasted butternut squash cubes. Stir.
Add hot water to the mango chutney and drizzle over the mixture. Finally, add the lemon juice, stir. Season to taste. Keep on a low light for 5′-10′ additional minutes taking care not to burn the dish.