Quinoa, Halloumi, Broccoli and Butternut Squash Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

This quinoa salad originated from a “whatever’s-left-in-the-fridge” kind of dinner, but is now a favourite in my house. Its light, crunchy and nutty textures and flavours make it ideal for a summer’s evening. Roasting the broccoli gives it a totally different flavour.

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If you have never tried quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah‘) before, it has a light texture, similar to cous cous, but tastes slightly nutty. It’s filling, without being heavy and tastes good hot or cold. I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t like it! You’ll find it in most supermarkets.

Halloumi is a salty, Cypriot cheese that has a high melting point – meaning it doesn’t melt when cooked. It is traditionally set with rennet, so if you are vegetarian, make sure you pick up a veggie-friendly brand. Again, it can be found in most supermarkets.

Quinoa, Halloumi, Broccoli and Butternut Squash Salad, with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Serves 2

For the salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 125 g halloumi
  • ½ butternut squash
  • 300 g broccoli (~½ head)
  • 1 dstspn (dessertspoon) sunflower seeds
  • 1 dstspn pumpkin seeds
  • 1 dstspn flaked almonds

For the dressing:

  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 dstspn extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 dstspn balsamic vinegar
  • 1 dstspn lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp French mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 170 °C (fan).

Bring 1 cup of quinoa and 2½ cups of water to the boil in a saucepan with the lid on. Once the water boils off (~15 min), turn off the heat but leave the quinoa stand for a further 10 min to continue cooking in its own heat. Tip: do not stir the quinoa throughout the cooking process so that little steam pockets can form. This ensures light, fluffy quinoa.

Dice the butternut squash into medium sized chunks. Toss with salt, pepper and 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Do the same with the broccoli.

On a baking tray, roast 1 whole head of garlic and the diced butternut squash. After 15 min, add the chopped broccoli to the tray and roast for another 15 min.

On a separate baking tray, mix the seeds and flaked almonds and roast for 5 min until golden brown.

Dice the halloumi into small cubes and fry on a medium-high heat until golden.

To make the dressing, remove the skin from the roasted garlic and place the cloves into a bowl, then mash (it is easier to do this while the garlic is still warm). Add the remaining ingredients all at once and whisk together with a fork.

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To serve:

Toss the butternut squash, broccoli and halloumi through the quinoa. Spoon some dressing on top, and finish with a handful of the toasted seeds and flaked almond.

Tag @thecorkfork on Instagram if you try this dish.

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