2cups(500 ml) water - for cooking the quinoaSee Note 2
1large(about 500 g) sweet potato
2spring onions/scallions - finely sliced, the white and some of the green part
1tablespoonolive oilSee Note 3
⅓cupfresh parsley, finely choppedSee Note 4
¼cuppine nuts/pinoliSee Note 5
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
For the Dressing:
1teaspoonlemon zestSee Note 6
2teaspoonlemon juice - freshly squeezedSee Note 6 and 7
3teaspoonextra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat your oven to 200 Degrees C (390 F).Peel and rinse the sweet potato, carefully slice it in half lengthways then chop into half-moon shapes about 1 ½ cm/ ½ inch thick.
Line a sheet pan with baking paper and put the sweet potato on the tray. Toss it in oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread it out so the slices are not overlapping. Roast in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the sweet potato is just cooked.Remove once cooked and set aside.
Put the quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse well under cold running water, swishing the quinoa with your hand. Drain the quinoa well - See Note 1.
Pour 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the seeds are tender. When they’re cooked you will notice they have little curly “tails”.(Or follow directions on the packet)
Remove from the heat, place a clean tea towel or 3 layers of paper towel over the saucepan, place the lid back on and stand 5 minutes. The tea towel/paper towel will absorb excess moisture. Fluff the quinoa with a fork then turn it into a bowl and allow to cool.
Mix your dressing up and set aside - check you are happy with the balance of flavours and adjust accordingly.Finely chop the spring onion and parsley.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, and toss.Serve in a salad bowl or on a platter - See Notes 7 and 8.
This is the weight of the quinoa before it is cooked. It is important to thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Rinsing helps remove the outside coating of the grain, called saponin, which can cause a slightly bitter taste. The saponin is a naturally occurring chemical which is there to deter insects. Make sure the quinoa is well-drained after rinsing.
We cook the quinoa by the absorption method, which means that the quinoa will absorb the amount of water used.
In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. You may have to adjust your measurements accordingly.
I prefer the flavour and texture of flat-leaf/continental parsley. However, you could use the curly leaf variety if you prefer.
The pine nuts can be lightly toasted for a few minutes in a dry frying pan if you prefer to add a little crunch. Keep your eye on them, they burn very quickly.
Adjust the amount of lemon juice and zest to your taste – you may prefer more.
For the best flavour, it is important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Ensure you serve the dish at room temperature, for the best flavour.
Please note, the nutritional information is based on six people enjoying this as a starter or a side dish. Alternatively, it would serve 3-4 people as a more substantial meal.