We could have called this Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad a superfood salad but we don’t like to follow the pack. It is, though. It’s food, it’s salad and it is straight-up super, packed full of ingredients that nutritionists wax lyrical about because they are so unbelievably good for you. Let’s call it a really, really great salad just be annoyingly different.
Quinoa, the heart of the salad, is one of the few complete plant-based proteins, so this is a great dish for vegetarians and vegans, particularly for recovery. The oranges and the lovely pinky-purple flesh in pomegranates – called arils if you didn’t know – are both packed with anti-oxidants, fibre and Vitamin C, making this dish more or less health on a plate. You can swap and change the other ingredients – add celery, radish and nuts or other toasted seeds maybe. It’s all up for grabs once you have the key ingredients in your salad bowl.
This is a sweet-ish salad, with cocoa in the dressing, which gives it a lovely tart taste. It’s great as a side dish or with crisp green salad leaves and avocado for a hearty main. Crumble on some sharp goats cheese for a vegetarian version or eat as it is to keep it vegan. Serve with crusty bread too, if you fancy. No need to follow the pack either – you decide.
I used red quinoa because that’s what I had in the cupboard but white or black would work just as well. I also used some delicious Cocoa Balsamic vinegar from Hotel Chocolat (which adds a brilliant twist to dressings and other culinary creations; definitely worth treating yourself to). If you don’t have any of that, though, regular balsamic will do the trick.
- 100g dry weight quinoa, cooked
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 1 orange
- 1 beetroot, grated
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Handful chopped coriander
- A little soft goats cheese (optional)
- Juice of half an orange
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- Few drops maple or agave syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the salad, zest the orange then peel it and cut the flesh into 1cm chunks.
- Place the zest and orange flesh in a large bowl and add all of the other ingredients except the pumpkin seeds.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan for a 3-4 minutes and add to the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
- To make the dressing, place all of the ingredients in a jar and shake well.
- Add some to the salad and save some for drizzling