Spicy Quinoa Salad w Jalapeno Dressing & Toasted Seeds

PREP TIME: 15mins


I love my salads, big, gutsy and full of flavour. Veggies are roasted in a marinade of harissa & paprika and I love the thick spicy jalapeño dressing that can double up as guacamole for later.

This is the sort of handy salad you can make when you clearing the fridge of old’ish’ veggies as the marinade will jazz up frankly anything.

Don’t be shy to mix and match the herbs, salad, seeds or nuts here too, use what you have.

The perfect make ahead salad for warm & sunny summer days.

Make this!

Serves 4 generously

Serving Suggestion:

This filling salad can be served as it is but if you don’t mind a bit of ‘carbs on carbs’ action, some quick flatbreads would be great.

Think scooping that gorgeous dressing with a warm flatbread – bliss!

What you'll need:

you can use a food processor to make the dressing but you can also mix by hand


  • lots of olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 aubergine, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked sweet pepper
  • handful fresh herbs, finely chopped ( I used coriander & parsley)
  • 2 handful rocket or watercress leaves
  • limes to serve

Jalapeno Dressing

  • 1 avo
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half (seeds removed if avoiding heat)
  • 5 tablespoons yogurt of choice
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • salt & pepper

Toasted Seeds & Nuts

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked sweet paprika
  • enough olive oil to coat the mixture (about 5 tablespoons)
  • pinch salt & pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Add the quinoa to a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of cold water to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Bring to a gentle boil, cover the saucepan and let the quinoa cook for 12 minutes or until cooked and the white little tail is present. Turn of the heat and let the quinoa steam (lid on) for 3 minutes. Tip into a large bowl to cool down while ‘fluffing’ the quinoa. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  3. Mix the harissa, salt and paprika together. Add enough olive oil to the paste to form a paste which will be enough to cover your veggies.
  4. Add the cauliflower, broccoli, pepper and aubergine to one or two baking trays, ideally one where the veggies can lay in a single layer without touching each other. Mix the veggies with the marinade and with your hands, massage the marinade into the veggies. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the veggies half way. The veggies should be golden and not too soft.
  5. While the veggies are roasting, mix the seeds & nuts into a small baking tray, add the paprika, salt and enough olive oil to just coat the mixture. Roast in the (same) oven for 5 minutes or until golden, remove and cool.
  6. For the dressing, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor, the dressing is thick but if you feel its too thick add some more yogurt and/or water. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt, pepper and maybe a squeeze or two of lime juice.
  7. To serve, mix the cooled quinoa with the veggies and the chopped herbs (reserve some for garnish). Top with the leaves and about 1/2 of the nuts. Serve with the dressing on the side or dollop big spoonfuls over the salad. Enjoy!
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