Black quinoa with courgette, pomegranate and a garlic chilli dressing

Black quinoa with courgette, pomegranate and a garlic chilli dressing

Black quinoa with courgette, pomegranate and a garlic chilli dressing / Serves 4


  • 150g black quinoa
  • 15g mint leaves
  • 45g parsley leaves
  • 50g rocket, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 60g red peanuts
  • 2 medium courgettes 
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 pomegranate 
  • 2 olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • Sea salt & black pepper


Prepare the black quinoa in advance. Place in a saucepan and cover in plenty of water, then bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 minutes until the curl from the grain is starting to emerge but the quinoa still has some bite. Drain well, running under cool water for a minute or two, then leave sitting in the colander until needed. 

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan then add the sliced onion. Fry for around 10 minutes until translucent, then add the ground cumin and cook for another five minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

Finely chop the parsley and mint together, then transfer to a large bowl. Roughly chop the rocket, crush the red peanuts (or lightly pulse in a food processor) and de-seed the pomegranate, discarding the skin and white pith. Add the rocket, peanuts and two thirds of the pomegranate seeds (putting aside the rest to serve) to the bowl of herbs. 

Prepare the dressing: in a pestle and mortar grind together the garlic cloves, 1 red chilli and 2 tbsp olive oil. Transfer the black quinoa to the bowl of herbs and combine, stirring in the dressing slowly along with the juice of half a lemon. Season to taste. 

Heat the sunflower oil on high in a griddle pan. Halve the courgettes lengthways, then cut into long thin strips. Place on the griddle pan in batches, frying for around 3-4 minutes on each side until chargrilled. Place the cooked strips in a bowl with the juice from the remaining lemon half. Once all the strips are cooked, stir well to combine with the lemon juice and season with salt to taste.

To serve, divide the quinoa and herb mixture between shallow bowls and top with the courgette. Sprinkle over the remaining pomegranate seeds. If you're hungry (as we were!) flatbread works perfectly alongside, as would hummus or dairy-free yoghurt.