Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy of Giada at Home
Show: Giada at Home | Episode: Ladies Empowerment Lunch
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Total:
1 hr 40 min
Active:
1 hr 15 min
Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

Vinaigrette:
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Salad:
  • One 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth (about 2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-grain quinoa, preferably organic
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • One 1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large Honey Crisp or Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled,cored, quartered
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted, or 1/3 cup roasted saltedsunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large bunch watercress
Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Directions

For the vinaigrette: Toast the seeds over medium heat in a heavy medium skillet, stirring occasionally, until the seeds darken in color and become fragrant, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Place the seeds on a plate; cool for 1 minute. Grind the seeds finely in a small food mill or grinder. 

Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and the toasted seeds until thick and blended in a small bowl. Stir in the shallots. Set the vinaigrette aside.

For the salad: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Mix in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, spray a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper on the sheet. Roast until tender and browned, stirring once, about 30 minutes. 

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Add the vinaigrette, eggplant, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Toss to blend.

Cover the bottom of a shallow platter with the watercress. Spoon the salad on top and serve.