I’ve been making this salad for eeeeeeons. This recipe isn’t breaking any mould –roasted veg/quinoa/feta salads come dime a dozen, I know– but there’s something about the combination of the Indian-spiced roasted pumpkin and sweet potato, the sweet juicy beetroot, the crunch of the toasted almonds and the smoked-paprika sprinkled feta that I find myself coming back to time and time again.
Aside from my Maple-Roasted Pumpkin, Macadamia and Strawberry Salad which you can’t go past for summer entertaining, this is the salad I’ll usually take to a bbq in cooler months, or when I know lots of dudes will be eating it. It’s so simple yet so hearty and satisfying.
Feel free to leave out or add whatever your heart desires with this one. Hate coriander? No prob, mint would work wonders, as would dill!. Almonds can be swapped for pine nuts, and you could add broccoli or cauliflower to the roasting tray, too!Print
- ½ large Jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
- 1 medium sweet potato or ½ large, washed, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
- 2 cups tri-coloured quinoa, rinsed thoroughly*
- 4 cups water
- 3 large handfuls baby spinach
- 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (always fragrant but not essential)
- 10 slices pickled beetroot
- ¼ cup flaked or slivered almonds
- 3 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ cup Danish or Persian Feta, crumbled
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tbs melted coconut oil or oil of choice
- Sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200*C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and garam masala in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the almonds on the prepared tray and place in the oven for 2 minutes or until fragrant and golden. Keep a close eye on them after the 1 minute mark – the suckers can go from raw to charcoal real quick. Remove from oven, place in a small bowl, and set aside. Keep the paper on the tray – you’ll use it for your veg.
- Place pumpkin and sweet potato in a large mixing bowl with 1/2 tbs melted macadamia or coconut oil and use your hands to coat the veg.
- Arrange the pumpkin and sweet potato on the lined baking tray and sprinkle with half the spice mix and sea salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and golden. Cooking times will vary from oven to oven.
- While the veg is roasting, place the quinoa, water, thyme sprigs (if using), remaining spice mix, and a generous pinch or two of sea salt in a pot. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer. Cover and leave for 15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. The quinoa is ready when its germ (the little white ring around the outer edge) is exposed. Remove from heat, remove the thyme sprigs, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large salad bowl, toss the quinoa, baby spinach, chives, coriander, lemon juice, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Top with the roasted veg, pickled beetroot, feta, and toasted almonds. Finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, coriander, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Enjoy!
- *Quinoa has a natural chemical called saponin, which can be bitter to taste when quinoa is not rinsed thoroughly prior to cooking.
- contains moderate amounts of mannitol, so large amounts can be troublesome for people with polyol sensitivities. Once divided into servings, this recipe calls for even less than the ‘safe’ recommendation, so most people with IBS or fructose malabsorption should be fine. If you’re unsure of your tolerance level, simply omit and use more pumpkin instead. I’ve personally always been able to tolerate large amounts of sweet potato.
- According to Monash University, up to ½ cup pickled beetroot is considered low FODMAP