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Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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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

Directions

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. For the salad: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Add the vinaigrette, eggplant, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Toss to blend.
  7. Cover the bottom of a shallow platter with the watercress. Spoon the salad on top and serve.