We toyed with calling this delish little salad ‘Fruits of the Forest’ because we’re whimsical and a little bit ridiculous if we’re being honest. But come on! This winning combo of nuts, seeds, fetta and root veg will have you feeling a bit Disney-princess-with-a-forest-animal-sidekick too.
mixed salad leaves
paprika spice blend
tri colour quinoa
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Slice the peeled pumpkin into 0.5 cm thick slices. Slice the beetroot into 0.5 cm thick wedges. TIP: Cutting the veggies the correct size ensures they cook in the allocated time. Place the pumpkin and beetroot on the oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes, or until golden and soft. Set aside.
While the veggies are roasting, rinse the tri-coloured quinoa well. Place the quinoa and the water (check the ingredients list for the amount) into a medium saucepan, crumble in the vegetable stock cube (use suggested amount) and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12-14 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender with a slight bite and all of the water has absorbed. Drain any excess water and set aside to cool slightly.
While the quinoa is cooking, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil (1 tbs for 2 people / 2 tbs for 4 people) and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Roughly chop the roasted almonds. Place the pepitas, sunflower seeds and the almonds in a small bowl and add a drizzle of olive oil and the paprika spice blend (use suggested amount). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to coat the nuts and seeds. In the last 5 minutes of veggie cooking time, add the nuts and seeds to the second oven tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven to cook until fragrant and lightly toasted. TIP: Watch they don’t burn!
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, roast veggies, mixed salad leaves and spiced nuts. Add the balsamic-Dijon dressing and toss gently to combine. TIP**: Allow the quinoa and veggies to cool slightly before tossing the salad to prevent the leaves from wilting.
Divide the tri-coloured quinoa and the roast pumpkin, beetroot and spiced nuts between bowls. Crumble over the fetta.