Make a quick and flavourful salad dressing by adding lemon or vinegar to the oil from the cheese cubes.
Serve the salad on a cake stand for a change and serve with your choice of meat or bread for a complete meal.
This salad does not only taste great, it also looks appetising and warming with the vibrant colours of pumpkin and onion. I very seldom serve my salads in a bowl, as I find the deep sides of the dish cover the best parts. I much rather take a good sized serving plate, where I can spread the ingredients. My new favourite is using cake stands as serving plates. You just pile your salad on it and it will be the centre piece of any dinner table! Another beauty of this winter salad is that you can vary it endlessly. Just remember the colour (almost any root vegetable will do), the flavour of the dressing and add a bit of crunch (hazel nuts, pine nuts), a bit of sweetness (grapes, raisins, plums), something green (kale, spinach, Swiss chard) and you may substitute quinoa for lentils or bulgur. Blue cheese or goat cheese would work too, but then you are missing the flavourful oil for the dressing. Doable. And if you are looking to add some meat, then I guarantee that a few rashers of bacon will blend in wonderfully.Instructions:
Cut the butternut squash in half and dig out the seeds. You can save them to rinse, roast and use in salads, but, unfortunately this type of pumpkin does not contain that many seeds. Cut the halves in two and cut the 4 pieces you now have into wedges. Peel off the hard skin and cut into cubes or pieces of similar size. Peel the onions, half them and cut into wedges. Lay the pumpkin and onion on a baking sheet, splash with oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse and cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Roast the pumpkin seeds. Open the jar of cheese cubes and squeeze the juice of one lemon into the oil. Chop the herbs finely. Pour the lemon flavoured oil into the bowl of quinoa, add cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds and herbs and mix. Add salt and pepper if needed. When the pumpkin cubes and onions are ready, arrange the salad on a serving plate by making layers of rocket salad, quinoa, pumpkin, onion and cheese cubes on a serving plate. Serve warm or cold.