This salad blends my favorites with protein-packed quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain that is native to South America. It comes in golden, red, and black varieties, with the golden variety being the most readily available and delicately flavored. You can purchase quinoa, along with pepitas (hulled, toasted pumpkin seeds) at a natural foods store. Pomegranate molasses adds a robust sweet-tart flavor to the vinaigrette—find it at Middle Eastern markets such as Vartan’s on Washington or from an on-line purveyor. It’s not necessary to peel the acorn squash, as the skin is edible.
1/4 cup minced shallot
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1 pound Brussels sprouts, cut in half
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 (1-to 1 1/4-pound) acorn squash, cut into 16 wedges
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
1 cup (approximately) pomegranate seeds, from 1 pomegranate or 1 (5.3-ounce) package
For the vinaigrette: Whisk the shallot, oil, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, garlic, and salt to blend in a small bowl.
For the salad: Bring the broth and the quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and set aside.
Position one rack in the lower third and one rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450ºF. Brush 2 large, heavy baking sheets with olive oil. Toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl. Arrange the Brussels sprouts cut-side down on one prepared baking sheet. Toss the squash with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, as well as the coriander, allspice, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in the same medium bowl. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the second prepared baking sheet. Roast the Brussels sprouts on the bottom rack and the squash on the top rack of the oven until the Brussels sprouts are well browned on the bottom and tender when pierced with a sharp knife and the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir the toasted pepitas and 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette into the quinoa. Divide the quinoa among four plates.
Return the Brussels sprouts to the same medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. Spoon the Brussels sprouts over the quinoa, dividing evenly. Divide the squash wedges among the plates. Sprinkle the salads with the pomegranate seeds and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve.
Copyright © Jeanne Kelley
Jeanne Kelley is the author of three cookbooks: Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, Holiday Baking, and Salad for Dinner. She is a long-time contributor to Bon Appetit magazine and Bon Appetit books, and writes frequently for Fine Cooking and Cooking Light. Her articles and recipes have also been featured in Prevention and Fitness. She is currently writing a cookbook for Williams-Sonoma. Around her house in Eagle Rock, Jeanne has built an urban homestead—complete with a vegetable garden, a chicken coop, and beehives.