Salads have always been an alien term to me as I cannot seem to find an appreciation for a bowl of leaves sprinkled with colour. Not that I am against it but I think a good salad has to be prepared with lots of thought on the flavour combinations as well as smart play on textures.
I am beginning to play with the idea of preparing salads for lunch these days and so far, have conjured up a handful of recipes that may be a success if done well. What I liked about this salad is that it has a nice balance of sweetness from the pumpkin and apple which lends flavour to the quinoa and spinach leaves whilst the balsamic vinaigrette provided the much needed acidity to it.
Ingredients (serves 2):
600g pumpkin, cubed
1/2 cup of quinoa
2 apples, cubed
700g spinach leaves
1. Roast pumpkin rubbed with olive oil and sea salt at 150C for 25 minutes or until it softens slightly.
2. Wash quinoa and cook it as you do with rice.
3. Soak cubed apples in 1 tsp of honey dissolved in about 500ml of water. This reduces the rate at which the apple browns.
4. Wash spinach leaves.
10ml of good quality olive oil
1 tsp of dijon mustard
2 tbsp of good quality balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
1. Whisk ingredients together whilst slowly incorporating the olive oil. Set aside when ready to dress the salad.
It was that simple and to dress the salad, I placed all the ingredients in a suitable sized container, closed it and gave it a good shake to distribute the flavours. Pretty easy and surely a crowd winner:)