Several years ago I did a yoga teacher training, shortly after finishing my undergrad degree. I liked it, and I like teaching, but I’m not big on meditating. I thought of some great recipe ideas when we were supposed to be meditating.
This Moroccan roasted vegetable salad was one of them, and I have made it every autumn and winter since then. This is a great weeknight meal, a real prep and go kind of deal.
While the vegetables and apples are in the oven, the quinoa is quickly cooked, or you can use a leftover grain. Garlic is roasted along with the other vegetables – skin on – to add some sweetness and garlic flavour to the dressing without being overwhelming. Roasting the garlic in individual cloves is easy, and you get that amazing roasted garlic flavour without making a whole head.
So, new photos, a simplification of the recipe, and some pumpkins left over from our autumn harvest cured and sitting in the pantry. Winter squash (pumpkins) keep well right up until spring. The ones you’re getting at this time of year are very likely still local and taste just as good now as they did in October.
- Butternut squash
- A large apple
- Red onion
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- White wine vinegar
- Parsley (optional)
Preheat the oven. Prep the squash, apple, and onions, then place them into a large baking dish with the garlic (skin on!). Add the oil and spices, then mix to coat.
Bake for about half an hour, or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. While that’s in the oven, cook the quinoa.
Once the vegetables are ready, carefully remove and peel the garlic. Make the vinaigrette, then add the quinoa and roasted vegetables to a large platter or bowl. Top with the vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds, and parsley, and serve warm.
Tips and Notes
Apples add a lot to this dish and can’t be left out! The pumpkin is sweet, yes, but the apples add another note and varying texture that bring it all up to the next level. With the roasted garlic vinaigrette and pomegranate, everything comes together into the most perfect meal.
Luckily, butternut squash isn’t a particularly hard pumpkin and cooks up pretty quickly if it’s cut to the right size here. The onions will be soft and browned, the apples will be perfectly caramelised, and the squash is just barely golden. If you over bake you risk the apples (and everything else) turning to mush.
You can use any kind of pumpkin in place of butternut squash, like buttercup, Hokkaido, or even acorn if you don’t mind peeling it. Keep in mind that it’s one of the main elements here and you should use a variety you like.
Shallots can be subbed in for the red onion, and cilantro or mint can be used interchangeably with parsley. Any type of grain can be used in place of quinoa – freekeh, millet, even rice. There aren’t a pile of possible subs here as it’s a simple dish but you can always add if you like. Think chickpeas, arugula, and so on.
I know white balsamic vinegar is a bit of a luxury item that might not be so easy to find, but you can easily use white wine vinegar or lemon juice instead. Just add a touch of maple syrup to make up for the lost sweetness from the balsamic.
This really is an ultra-simple dinner, so I’m not going to write any more than needed here. Just go make it!
Love these spices? Here are a few other delicious Moroccan-inspired recipes!
Let’s connect! If you liked this recipe, make sure to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you’re making, and stay in touch via email, facebook, and pinterest.
Warm Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad
- 500 grams butternut squash, peeled (about half a pumpkin)
- 1 large tart apple cored and thinly sliced
- 4 small red onions quartered (or one regular, sliced)
- 3 whole cloves of garlic skin on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 110 grams quinoa
- 250 ml water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- Roasted garlic from vegetables
- 60 ml olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar*
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ pomegranate seeds only
- 10 grams parsley, leaves only
- Preheat your oven to 190°C (350°F) and set aside a large casserole dish or baking sheet.
- Cut the squash into approximately equal squares of about 3cm (1 inch). Place into the casserole dish with the apple, onions, and garlic.
- Add the olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and cardamom to the vegetables, then mix until evenly coated.
- Place the dish into the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the butternut squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, and salt to a medium pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low to simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed.
- Once the vegetables are done, remove the garlic cloves and carefully peel. The roasted garlic should slip right out of the skin.
- Mash the garlic with a fork, and then mix well with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- To serve, place the quinoa onto a large platter or individual plates and top with the roasted vegetables, vinaigrette, pomegranate, and herbs. Best warm but not bad at room temperature, this salad will also keep well for a couple of days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
This post was originally published in November 2015. It has been most recently updated as of October 2020.