Squash, Cinnamon, Hazelnut and Quinoa Salad
For years I was put off eating quinoa because of the snobbery surrounding its name (it’s keenoiaah, darling) and the fact that it seems like a bit of a hippy ingredient. I now realise I’ve been missing out. It is wonderful stuff.
|1.5kg (3¼lb)||butternut squash, peeled, seeds discarded and flesh cut into 4cm (1½in) chunks|
|1||red chilli, seeded and sliced|
|10cm (4in)||cinnamon stick, broken into 3|
|¼ bunch||oregano or marjoram, leaves picked|
|150g (5oz)||quinoa, rinsed|
|Juice of ½ lemon|
|A small bunch of watercress, roughly chopped|
|150g (5oz)||hazelnuts, roasted and roughly crushed|
|Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
Place the squash in a large bowl along with the red chilli, cinnamon and oregano. Season generously, drizzle with oil and toss until everything is well coated. Transfer to a baking tray, cover with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm. The squash should be golden and soft. If not, return it to the oven.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, then drain and leave to steam-dry. Season to taste, drizzle with oil and squeeze the lemon juice over it. Stir lightly and leave to cool.
Add the watercress to the cooled quinoa and toss well to coat. Divide half the mixture between your plates, top with the squash, then scatter the remaining quinoa over the top and sprinkle with the roasted hazelnuts.