Quinoa and Roast Veg Salad

Oooh! This has got to be one of the most delicious salads, I'm not really sure how it developed but something along the lines of having grain and veg separately on a plate became grain and veg mixed in a bowl! Its beautifully coloured and the flavours are robust. You can change the veggies to suit your taste but I think butternut, red onions and whole garlic are a must, which should be soft and silky when it comes out of the oven. I enjoy the addition of toasted walnuts, they give it a hint of bitterness. The seasoning is very simple so you can be quite generous with it and more olive oil never hurts. It can be served warm or cold and keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

Recipe (serves 6)

1 butternut, cut into largeish pieces
1 red onion, cut into quarters along the length
Green beans, topped and tailed
5 or 6 cloves garlic, left in their skins
100g rocket
Half a cup of quinoa
Rapeseed or olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Cumin and fennel seeds
More good olive oil

Preheat oven to 200C. Place veg, cumin, fennel and walnuts into a roasting pan. Coat with a splash of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast off for about 40-50 minutes until cooked through with plenty of colour. In the meantime, wash and cook quinoa in 3 parts water until tender and transparent (about 20 mins), allow to steam and cool in the pot with the lid on once cooked. Once veg has been removed from the oven, remove skins from the garlic and tear into smaller pieces and roughly chop the walnuts (this can be done before roasting too). Mix all together with the quinoa and season liberally, add enough olive oil to give it a glossy finish. Allow to cool and then adding the rocket mix through thoroughly again.

This salad shines on its own or is super scrummy with falafel, bean pate and toasted pita.

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