I sat down to start making Melissa Clark's quinoa salad for dinner and lunch for the next few days, and I realized that I didn't have enough carrots (oops!). So what did I do? I roasted a veggie that I always have on hand- tomatoes. I replaced currants with toasted pumpkin seeds and added a bit more pomegranate molasses and lemon juice (because who can never have enough of those). I decided to also mix the dressing into the quinoa instead of the arugula, just to keep things a bit more fresh for the next day. This was delicious eaten warm the night of and cold the days after. Thanks for the inspiration! —Omayah Atassi
Lightly toast the pumpkin seeds. Add them to a pan over medium heat, stirring often, until golden-brown and fragrant. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cherry tomato halves in olive oil, salt and pepper until coated. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until slightly shriveled, about 25-30 minutes. Add the tomatoes to a large bowl when finished roasting.
Meanwhile, fry the leeks. Put enough oil at the bottom of a pan to cover the leeks. Add the leeks in batches, and remove with a slotted spoon when brown and crispy. Place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse. Add the quinoa to 2.5 cups boiling salted water. Simmer covered until water is completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Add the quinoa and the toasted pumpkin seeds to the bowl of roasted tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Combine the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice with 1 tsp of salt and a pinch of pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.
Add the dressing to the quinoa, tomato and pumpkin seed mixture. Stir to combine.
Place arugula on a platter, top with quinoa and frizzled leeks, and drizzle olive oil and pomegranate molasses just before serving. Can be served warm or cold. If serving cold, refrigerate up to 3 days. Keep arugula, quinoa mixture and leeks separate and assemble just before serving.