Deliciously sweet roasted baby peppers, caramelised eggplant and tangy lemon mingled in with nutty tricolour quinoa and a zingy lemon garlic dressing. A colourful vegan quinoa recipe that would shine at any potluck meal.
Rinse the quinoa through a colander. Add tricolour quinoa to a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from heat and cover with a lid. Let quinoa steam for about 3-5 minutes. Remove the lid and use a fork to fluff up the quinoa. Set aside for assembly.
Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Cut the eggplant into 2-3 cm cubes. Brush eggplant with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Roast eggplant in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden and soft. Remove from the baking sheet from the oven to cool.
Wash baby peppers and season with ⅓ tbsp (1 tsp) of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper to taste. If you are using a large bell pepper instead, cut into 2cm thick strips and season as above. Roast baby peppers for approximately 25-30 minutes until the skin is charred and soft. Remove from the baking sheet from the oven to cool.
Cut lemon into thick 1 cm rounds. Season with 1 tsp of olive oil and pinch of salt. Place lemons in the oven and roast for 15 - 20 minutes until lemon starts to caramelise. Remove from the baking sheet from the oven to cool. Once cool, cut the roasted lemon rounds into quarters.
Wash rocket leaves and give it a shake to remove excess water.
Wash and roughly chop parsley.
Thinly cut spring onions into round slices.
Over medium-low heat, dry roast pine nuts in a medium fry pan until golden brown.
Peel and mince the garlic with a knife or use a garlic press.
Add crushed garlic,extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to a mixing bowl.
Whisk together to combine.
Taste first and then season with salt and pepper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine rocket, tricolour quinoa, roasted eggplant, roasted baby peppers, roasted lemon together, spring onions, parsley and pine nuts together.
Drizzle with lemon garlic dressing and toss so the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if required.
Let the salad sit for 10 minutes so the lemon garlic dressing is well absorbed by the salad.
Transfer to a large serving bowl or platter and serve.
You can substitute baby peppers with normal bell peppers/capsicums. Just cut into thick slices and roast in the oven.
If you do find the garlic overpowering in the lemon garlic dressing, add ½ teaspoon of maple syrup to help mellow out the flavours.
You can use either red or white quinoa in place of tricolour quinoa.