Sunday, September 20, 2015

Autumn Pumpkin Quinoa Salad!

This is probably the best recipe I have invented so far!

If you love it when the Autumn foods (pumpkins, squashes, chestnuts, unusual mushrooms, etc.) start arriving in the supermarket -- and/or if you look forward to Autumn for the pumpkin-spice lattes -- this is going to be your new favorite Fall salad!

It would make a good side-dish if you're hosting a Thanksgiving dinner in which some guests are vegetarian or vegan. However, if you're planning to serve this for Thanksgiving, I must apologize in advance for giving all the measurements in metric -- that's just how we roll here in Europe.


3/4 Liter (750 mL) vegetable broth
300 grams dry quinoa
250 grams diced pumpkin or squash
1 apple (diced)
2 onions (diced)
100 grams mushrooms (chopped)
50 grams pumpkin seeds
4 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
salt to taste
chopped parsley
olive oil

First, prepare all the ingredients, since that's the part that takes the longest:

Put the quinoa in the broth and bring it to a boil. Then add the pumpkin/squash, apple, spices, and salt and cook on low heat, uncovered, until the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa (about 15 minutes). While the broth is simmering, sauté the onions, mushrooms, and pumpkin seeds in olive oil. Once both parts are done, mix them together and add the parsley (and maybe add some more olive oil).

This can be served warm or chilled.

Here are a few notes about the recipe:

  • If they don't sell pumpkin seeds for cooking in your area, you can maybe substitute some type of nuts. But don't just use the seeds from the fresh pumpkin unless you know it's a type that has good seeds (and you know how to prepare them).
  • Pretty much any type of pumpkin or squash can potentially work in this recipe except spaghetti squash or those jack-o-lantern pumpkins (that aren't really for eating), so try something local and seasonal!
  • The pumpkin in the first ingredient picture above weighed more than a kilogram, so it's actually way more pumpkin than you need for this recipe. But you might as well skin and dice the whole thing at once, and set aside the leftover part to make pumpkin pie or soup later.
  • I like to use umami in place of salt in most recipes. I used both when I prepared this salad.