I created this recipe for our very special , isolation-kind-of Easter this year.
Not only was it delicious and so wholesome - it was also quite symbolic of the times.
Using garden herbs , and whatever vegetable was in the house available to us to create the best tasting , feast-like platter for the special day.
The secret to perfection with this dish is executing each element well - so follow my steps carefully and you will achieve perfect textured quinoa with beautifully roasted vegetables.
By substituting a few ingredients this could become a Vegan version of this platter! Just check out the Vegan Roast Vegetable & Halloumi Quinoa Pilaf post on my recipes.
Ingredients: Quinoa 1 cup white quinoa [wash under a sieve] + 2 cups tap water 1 x 125g can of 4 bean mix or chickpeas [wash under a sieve] 1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt ---- Pumpkin Marinade 1 x wedge pumpkin [any kind] in 1 inch cubes skin on 1 tbs olive oil
½ tsp all spice powder
1 tsp salt ----- Carrot Onion Marinade 150-200g carrots in small diagonals or sticks 1 red/brown onion sliced thin [2mm width] 1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbs honey
pinch of pepper
1 tsp salt (adjust to your taste) --- Garnish 1 x packet Halloumi + olive oil 1 x Big handful of mint and parsley chopped fine Balsamic glaze store bought or make your own by heating in a saucepan : ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs brown sugar until bubbling and evaporated into a thick syrup (around 5 minutes) 1 x handful Pomegranate seeds (optional)
Direction 1.Prepare all the vegetables by cutting them into specified pieces .
2.Preheat the oven to 180deg C fan forced and line 2 baking trays with baking paper . Marinate both the vegetable mixtures in their marinade specified in ingredients list and set aside for 10 minutes whilst the oven preheats. Bake both trays for 35 minutes or until golden, roasted and cooked through. Flip pumpkin pieces half way. Note: The onion carrot mix will take longer around 45-50 minutes and requires mixing every 15 minutes so it doesn’t burn.
3.Place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil . Once it hits a full boil , lower heat to medium flame so the bubbles are small .
Cook uncovered for around 20 minutes or until all the water has evaporated – check every 5 minutes DO NOT BURN it will catch on the bottom if you don’t stir every now and then. Once the water has evaporated immediately put a tight lid on top of the saucepan and let the quinoa sit untouched and fully covered for 10 minutes . DO NOT REMOVE THE LID or the steam will escape.
After this time has passed, open the lid fold through the cumin powder , salt and 4 bean mixture quickly then put the lid tightly back on. Let it sit covered until we use it later. LET EVERYTHING COOL SO IT IS LUKEWARM TO THE TOUCH
4.Mix half the onion-carrot mixture & half of chopped herbs with the quinoa mixture - lay out on a platter in a length wise mound Arrange the remaining red onion carrot mix on the sides of the quinoa mound Arrange the pumpkin on the edge of the onion-carrot mix
5.Just before serving , heat a frying pan until it's very hot then pour a little bit of olive oil into the pan + swirl . Add the halloumi and press down gently Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides or until both sides are golden-brown.
6.Layer the halloumi down the centre of the quinoa bed + scatter the remaining chopped herbs over the whole platter
Drizzle balsamic glaze over the platter and sprinkle pomogranate seeds on top (optional)
Serve and Enjoy !
This pilaf is intended to be served & eaten at room temperature however if you would prefer a hot version , then plate up the vegetables + quinoa as soon as they are cooked . Halloumi takes less than 4 minutes to pan fry so this will come together quickly .
The balsamic reduction can be made the day prior , and stored in the fridge.
For easy drizzling , microwave for a few seconds and pour directly onto the pilaf