"Baraka restaurant" quinoa & caramelized squash and carrots salad

By • June 24, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Baraka restaurant is our 5 year old restaurant in Buenos Aires, and this salad had many previous versions. This one has been in our menu for 3 years, and people don't let us change it. You will eat up to the last little grain.German

Serves 4

  • 1 pound quinoa grains (well washed, not soaked)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium squash, peeled and diced medium size
  • 2 large carrots, peeld and diced medium size
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or extra virgin olive oil if you want it vegan)
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch roasted and ground cumin
  • 1 bunch small and tender whole spinach leaves (without stems) - a big bunch -
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 200 milliliters lemon/olive oil vinagrette (1 part lemon juice; 2 parts olive oil)
  • 1 pinch sea salt, for dressing
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, for dressing
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
  1. Add the bay leaves to the water, and bring to a boil in a large pot, over high heat.
  2. Add the quinoa grains and a pinch of salt. Let it boil over high heat and then reduce to medium. Cook until tender, but make sure that you can still see a white dot in the center of each quinoa grain, about 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the carrots and the squash on a baking sheet, making sure you don't mix them. Sprinkle with the butter (or olive oil, if you are making the vegan version), then the cumin, then the honey. Bake for 15 minutes, turn them over, and bake for another 10 or 15, until honey is caramelized. Carrots will remain firm while the squash will be very tender. This is the idea. Keep warm for serving.
  4. Strain the quinoa in a chinoise, and pour plenty of cold tap water over it, so it doesn't overcook
  5. SERVING: Mix the quinoa with the herbs, and dress it with the vinagrette, salt and pepper. Set a nice big bunch of fresh spinach on each plate or salad bowl. Serve 3 or 4 spoonfuls of quinoa on the spinach. Lay some caramelized vegetables on top, and arrange a few nice cherry tomatoes all around.
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