Quinoa Pilaf with Slow Roasted Turmeric Onions, Goat’s Cheese, Pumpkin and Mint

, from Issue #61. September, 2015
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Quinoa Pilaf with Slow Roasted Turmeric Onions, Goat’s Cheese, Pumpkin and Mint

I love this bright and tasty play on a traditional pilaf. The slow roasted onions really lift the dish and make it something special. Great on its own, or as a side to meat or fish.

Serves: 4


1½ cups quinoa (any colour)
3 cups vegetable stock
3 onions
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ crown pumpkin, peeled and chopped into cubes (you need roughly 3 cups of chopped pumpkin)
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
melted ghee or olive oil for roasting (3 tablespoons for the onions and 2 tablespoons for the pumpkin)
zest and juice one lemon
4 tablespoons good quality olive oil for drizzling
½ cup fresh mint leaves, sliced into ribbons
100 grams goat feta
sea salt and cracked black pepper

To garnish
mint leaves
pumpkin seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Peel the onions and cut into eighths. Place in an oven dish with the turmeric, maple syrup and oil and toss well. Roast for 1 hour or until the onions are meltingly soft.

Toss the pumpkin in oil and place in the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes until tender and lightly golden.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with the stock. Cover and bring to the boil and then leave to simmer with the lid ajar for 15-20 minutes, or until all the stock has dissolved.

Combine the quinoa with the roasted pumpkin and onions. Stir well. Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, mint and a good seasoning of sea salt and cracked black pepper.

To serve: Garnish with additional mint leaves and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds if desired.

Can be served immediately warm, or at room temperature.