This Pomegranate and Orange Quinoa Salad was made for our recent Ladies Halloween Wine Evening. Since it was a theme evening, I named it “blood clot salad with crunchy finger nails“. It was very well recieved and so much fun to make.
It all started with a variation of this salad I’ve been making all year. The dressing always stays the same, as does the main ingredient, oranges. Typically I tend to add some form of greens into it. Parsley, kale, scallions…anything I find in my fridge.
One day last week I was cleaning a pomegranate, with a hovering daughter, and I started thinking about putting pomegranates into the quinoa salad. They are everywhere in the stores and I swear we’ve already gone through half a dozen as my daughter loves them. They certainly are the perfect snack, full of antioxidants and I love how much she enjoys them. While cleaning away, I was having more thoughts about our Halloween evening and what bites I was going to bring. I had already decided on Pumpkin Vomit, made with guacamole, but I wanted a second dish to bring. Just because I’m crazy like that!! For some reason the term “blood clots” came to mind and then the light bulb moment….pomegranates in the salad could be blood clots. I think it could work.
I eat a lot of quinoa salad and always cook the quinoa the day before as I prefer it cooled down for my salad. It becomes very fluffy when you allow it to rest after cooking. The next day I scooped the seeds out of my mini pumpkin and carved it. It was going to by my vomiting pumpkin prop. Since we always roast our pumpkin seeds, I wanted to roast these ones to munch on. I tossed the seeds with oil, salt and cumin but had to turn the oven off and run out to the bus to get my kids mid roast. When I returned the residual heat from the oven had crunchified them a little. Still yummy however and then it came to me, they could be a salad addition of crunchy finger nails. Boom Chaka Laka. We were on a roll.
This is pretty much how this salad came to be. Started with the usual suspects, didn’t have any parsley so I used some of the bok choy greens in my fridge, roasted some pine nuts and tossed it all together.
This is enough for one serving. Double and triple if you are wanting to feed 4 or more and have leftovers for lunch.
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- ⅓ cup orange segments (one orange), cut up
- 1 tsp mint, (heaping) chopped
- 2 tsp pine nuts, roasted
- 2 tbsp bok choy greens, chopped (or parsley)
- 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, roasted
- 1 tbsp juice from orange
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place first seven ingredients in a bowl and toss lightly.
- In a jar or measuring cup add orange juice, vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together and pour over salad.
- Toss to mix in dressing and taste for seasoning. Add another pinch of salt and pepper as required.
- Serve with another sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds on top.
- This salad can be made a couple hours in advance and left to sit in refrigerator until ready to serve.