I first made this recipe for my friend Leva on her birthday. It's a beautiful way to present quinoa, the tiny grains and pomegranate seeds really do look like jewels and it's packed with delicious flavours. You can also use this dish as a base for a hearty stew or casserole, or serve for lunch with some avocado and a green leaf salad.
- 3 small red onions.
- Good olive oil
- ½ butternut squash, cut into 1.5cm squares
- 700-750g cooked quinoa at room temperature
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 80g parsley, washed and finely chopped
- 80g mint, washed, leaves picked and finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- A few fronds of dill, leaves picked
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cut the onions in half from top to bottom then peel them, leaving the base intact (you may want to trim off the top, though). Cut each half into 3 wedges - the base will hold the slices together. Put them on a small baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer the tray to the oven.
Do the same with the squash on a second tray. Keep an eye on them both: after about 15-20 minutes the red onion should be tender and a little caramelised around the edges. As soon as it's ready, remove the tray. The squash will need a further 10-15 minutes before it's tender and a little coloured at the edges.
When both veg are cooked, put the quinoa in a big serving bowl, then lay the squash and red onion on top, scatter over two-thirds of the pomegranate seeds, , the parsley and the mint and squeeze over the lemon juice. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle in a few good pinches of sea salt and a few twists of pepper. Using two big spoons, gently toss to mix.
Serve sprinkled with the remaining pomegranate seeds, the dill leaves and rose petals if using.