I think this Quinoa Salad with Chargrilled Veges and Garlic Yogurt Dressing could be my best quinoa salad recipe yet. This is actually the third salad recipe on this blog featuring this yummy and healthy ‘wonder grain’ on this blog. Seeing as the other two recipes have been super popular I thought “why not?” Indeed, this dish is high in WOW factor. Get in quick and rustle this up before the price of capsicums and eggplants skyrocket Downunder as we scurry into autumn.
Low in fat and high flavour this salad ROCKS as a lunch dish on it’s own, or, it is the perfect accompaniment to a beautifully cooked piece of meat (we’ve had it with steak as well as roast chook) and there’s always lots left for lunches for the next few days (this recipe feeds 6-8 but we are a family of three!).
Quinoa Salad with Chargrilled Veges and Garlic Yogurt Dressing Recipe
Serves 6-8 as a side salad
2 C quinoa (I used tri colour quinoa, which is my favourite. It takes a little longer to cook – feel free to use the standard white variety)
4 C chicken stock (if you want this to be a vegetarian dish, just use vegetable stock)
1 red capsicum
1 green capscium
1 medium sized eggplant
1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves (rocket is good too)
2 tabkespoons toasted sunflower seeds
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
3/4 cup thick Greek-style yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
1 clove crushed garlic
- Heat oven to 180 degrees (normal bake)
- Cook the quinoa as per the instructions on the packet (for extra flavour cook it in stock). Once cooked set aside to cool.
- Slice the eggplant into rounds, brush both sides with olive oil and place them on an oven tray (I like to line my baking tray with baking paper = less dishes!). Roast eggplant until golden on both sides (about 20 minutes – turn eggplant halfway during cooking).* Once cooked and cooled, chop into slices.
- Quarter capsicums. Remove and discard seeds and membranes.
- Heat a chargrill over high heat (or use a barbecue). Cook capsicum, in batches if necessary for 4 -5 minutes each side or until tender and skin is blistered and blackened. Transfer to a snap-lock bag. Seal. This step gets the capsicums ‘sweating’ so they soften. This allows you to easily peel off the blackened skin (which you discard). Thickly slice the capsicum.
- Chargrill the cherry tomatoes until the skins just pop.
- Once the quinoa is cooled, transfer to a large bowl and fluff up with a fork. Add capsicum and eggplant slices, cherry tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds and the baby spinach. Season to taste. Toss salad to serve.
- For the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Dish up the quinoa with the garlic yogurt dressing drizzled on top.
* If using a barbecue for the chargrilling, do the eggplant on the barbie too: I didn’t to speed things up – my indoor chargrill plate that sits on my gas hob isn’t particularly big and I was in a hurry – hence I used the oven and the chargrill plate at the same time to be super efficient!
TIP: To ‘toast’ seeds (e.g. cumin, sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds) simply dry fry these (no oil necessary!) in a dry pan over a moderate heat, stirring constantly (these buggers burn fast). Why not do more than you need? These keep well in an airtight container and are both delicious and nutritious sprinkled over any kind of salad.