Ottawa Cooks Excerpt: Quinoa Salad Recipe
New Year! New You! Looking for a delicious way to kick off your health and fitness regime for 2017? We recommend the super-nutritious recipe for quinoa salad with butternut squash, feta, and cranberries, courtesy of Bridgehead based in Ottawa. Bridgehead uses organic quinoa as a foundation for salads, soups, and vegetable patties, and even in baking. The sweetness of the butternut squash and cranberries, the complex spicing and acid from the dressing, and the creamy richness of the feta work together perfectly.
Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Feta & Cranberries
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 large or 2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup roughly crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries (both sweetened and unsweetened work equally well)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
In a medium pot, combine quinoa, salt, and water, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until grains are cooked through and fluffy but still intact. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. (This step can be done ahead.)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place squash and onions in a large bowl, add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are golden brown and yield to a knife. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the dressing.
Spiced cider dressing
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cane sugar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
In a dry frying pan over medium heat, toast cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cardamom, and nutmeg until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together toasted spices, salt, sugar, mustard, and vinegar. While still whisking, slowly drizzle in oil in a steady stream to create an emulsion.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the roasted vegetables, feta, cranberries, and parsley. Add dressing to taste and toss gently. The quinoa will “soak up” the dressing. If keeping overnight, reserve some of the dressing to add just before serving.