Roast Squash Quinoa & Black Chickpea Salad
- 2 small squash
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 160 g organic red quinoa
- 2 400 g cans organic black chickpeas
- 350 g cavalo nero or other kale, thick ribs removed and shredded
- 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing
- half an avocado
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp organic tahini
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- pinch sea salt
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50 ml water
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2). Leaving the outer skin on, halve the squashes and scoop out the seeds. Cut into thin wedges, about 1 cm thick. Place the wedges in a deep roasting tin and add two tablespoons of the olive oil, together with the thyme sprigs. Toss to combine.
- Place the halved cherry tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking tray. Drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle evenly with the sea salt and the cinnamon.
- Place the squash and the tomatoes in the pre-heated oven on separate shelves. Roast the squash wedges for 25 minutes, or until they are tender and starting to started to catch at the edges. Remove from the oven. Drain the wedges on kitchen paper, and set to one side. The tomatoes will need a bit longer – about 45-50 minutes cooking time in total – until they are soft and beginning to catch slightly on the edges. Remove from the oven and drain on kitchen paper. Set to one side.
- While the squash and tomatoes are roasting, place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Place in a pan and cover with cold water to a depth of 2 cm above the quinoa. Add a pinch of sea salt and place the pan over a medium heat. As soon as the water begins to simmer, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes, by which time the water should have been absorbed and the quinoa will be just cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to one side.
- Place a large frying pan or wok over a high heat and add the remaining two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shredded kale. Stir-fry vigorously for 2 minutes until the kale is just wilted and beginning to char slightly. Remove from the heat and tip into a bowl. Add the quinoa, black chickpeas and red onion and toss to combine.
- For the dressing, place the avocado, cumin, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and water in a blender and process until smooth.
- To assemble, divide the chickpea, quinoa, kale and red onion mixture between four plates. Arrange the roast squash and tomatoes across the top. Serve with the avocado and cumin dressing, which should be drizzled generously over the salad.
Recipe & photo from Steve Dent AKA The Circus Gardener’s Kitchen