Quinoa is as filling as it is reassuringly nutritious. It makes an ideal basis for salad, as it happily accommodates other ingredients while providing its own nutty flavor and contrasting texture.
1 small butternut squash (about 500g/1lb 2oz), peeled, deseeded and cut into roughly 3cm/1¼in chunks
10 sprigs of thyme
50ml/2ﬂ oz olive oil
50g/2oz whole almonds (skins on)
250ml/9ﬂ oz water or vegetable or chicken stock
100g/3½oz feta, crumbled into roughly 1cm/½in chunks
4 tbsp chopped parsley
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. If cooking the butternut squash from scratch, place in a roasting tin and add the thyme sprigs and olive oil. Mix together, season with salt and pepper, then place in the oven and roast for 30-40 mins or until tender and slightly caramelised around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the squash cooks, scatter the almonds on a baking tray and place in the oven to roast for 5 mins, tossing halfway through. Chop very roughly with a knife.
Meanwhile, pour the water or stock into a saucepan on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa and some salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 10-12 mins or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is just tender.
When the quinoa is cooked, place in a large bowl with the roasted butternut squash, chopped nuts, feta and parsley. Mix everything together, taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve either warm or at room temperature.