Warm salads are always welcome in my kitchen. Assembling such dishes is the best part of making them, of course, ensuring that everything is shown off to its perfectly roasted best. The black quinoa can obviously be substituted with the regular (or red) kind but I do have a penchant for the extreme nuttiness of this variety. The sunflower seed dressing is surprisingly cheesy – a quality I sometimes play with by adding a handful of chopped chives before blending.
ROASTED RED ONION & BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD with black quinoa
- 2 red onions, cut into wedges
- 1 butternut squash, cut into wedges
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 175g black quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 500ml water
- 150g Savoy cabbage, sliced
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3 dried figs, chopped
- black pepper
Sunflower seed dressing
- 70g sunflower seeds, plus extra to garnish
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 150ml water
- Preheat the oven to 240C (200C fan), Gas Mark 7.
- Arrange the onion and butternut squash wedges in a large baking dish, sprinkle over the cumin,
sumac and salt and toss to combine. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and
1 tablespoon of the olive oil and roast for 35–40 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until
cooked through and golden.
- Meanwhile, place the quinoa and measured water in a saucepan, cover with a lid and bring to
the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10–15 minutes until the water is completely
absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside to steam, covered, for 2–3 minutes.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cabbage,
season and gently sauté until it begins to wilt, then add the quinoa and stir to combine. Squeeze over
the lemon juice, season generously and stir through the chopped figs. Remove from the heat and set
aside until needed.
- To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until completely smooth,
scraping down the sides from time to time as you go.
- Transfer the quinoa to a large platter and distribute the red onion and butternut squash over the top. Drizzle over the dressing and scatter over extra sunflower seeds to garnish.
Tempeh isn’t something I eat a tremendous amount of although I do favour its inclusion here. Tossed in smoked paprika and a touch of sugar (don’t omit it) and roasted until golden (or as golden as tempeh gets), it does have the ability to bring this dish together. I often use pearl barley in place of rice when making paella and I adore its inimitable chew – it might not be authentic but it’s certainly damned delicious, so you’ll be getting no apologies from me. Served this dish with a glass of chilled wine, I could almost be forgiven for thinking I’m dining on the Costa Brava. Either that or my finely tuned imagination is wreaking havoc with reality again. Probably the latter.
PEARL BARLEY PAELLA with paprika-roasted tempeh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 220g pearl barley
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2–3 saffron threads
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 100g green beans, chopped
- 50g frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 150g tempeh, cubed
- sea salt flakes and black pepper
- 30g sunflower seeds
- small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan), Gas Mark 7.
- Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot to the
pan, season and sweat for 3–4 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the garlic, lemon zest and paprika to the pan and sauté. for 1–2 minutes, or until aromatic. Stir
through the pearl barley, add the stock, saffron, tomatoes and bay leaf, bring to a simmer and cook for
50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pearl barley grains are tender but still retain some bite.
- Meanwhile, make the tempeh. Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, sugar and oil in a
bowl, add the tempeh and toss together. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes, or until
- Add the green beans to the paella and cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the peas a few minutes before the end. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season to taste, then remove from the heat and top with the roasted tempeh pieces. Garnish with sunflower seeds, roughly chopped flat leaf parsley and lemon wedges before serving.