I was given the job of creating a grain salad for christmas day. I wanted to make it a little different and not just like the boring old quinoa salad I make most days for lunch. With stone fruit in season I just knew I had to use some delicious ripe and juicy nectarines. 

Nectarines pair really well with pumpkin, so roasted pumpkin was a must in the salad. The herbs also give this salad a delicious freshness, while the tahini and yoghurt dressing round off the salad beautifully. It went down an absolute hit on christmas day! 

Not only is this salad delicious it is also a healthy nutrient packed salad!

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

300g Japanese Pumpkin, thinly sliced cubes

1tbsp olive oil

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 cup quinoa

1/4 cup fresh mint, shredded

1/4 cup fresh italian parsley, shredded

1 cup endive shredded

2 nectarines, thinly sliced wedges

1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped

Tahini Dressing:

1.5 tbsp unhulled tahini

3 tbsp greek yoghurt

juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Thinly slice the pumpkin into small bite size pieces and then lay it out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Roast in the oven for 20mins at 200C. Then set aside and allow to cool. 

Meanwhile cook the quinoa as per packets instructions. For white quinoa, it is using 1 1/4 cup water to 1 cup of quinoa. For multicoloured you may need a little more water. Once cooked, set the quinoa aside to cool. 

Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. 

Assembly: Once quinoa is cool, mix the shredded endive, and 1/2 the mint and parsley though the quinoa. Spread it out on a large dish. Then lay pumpkin out on top, followed by the nectarine slices. Then top with remaining herbs and crushed almonds. Finally drizzle over the tahini dressing!