Grill Roasted Pumpkin and Red Quinoa Salad

Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad - vert

An amazing autumn salad! The red quinoa and wild rice bring a fantastic nutty flavor which compliments the grill roasted pumpkin perfectly. (BTW – you can roast the pumpkin in the oven if your grill is buried under snow). Studded with toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds, and scallions it is all dressed up for the holidays! I made a simple vinaigrette to go with it… I tell ya, I couldn’t stop eating it!

Grill Roasted Pumpkin and Red Quinoa Salad

serves six to eight

1 1/2 cups uncooked red quinoa
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
4 pounds pumpkin or winter squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

For Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional:
Grilling grid

Method: Direct heat grilling

Cook quinoa and wild rice (separately) in salted water per package directions. When cooked, spread on a baking sheet to cool.

Set grilling grid over clean grates and preheat for direct cooking over medium heat. Slice pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (reserve if you want to roast them) and cut into 1 1/2-inch slices. Combine the oil, salt, and pepper and toss until slices are well-coated. Place on grill/grid and cook for 18 to 20 minutes, tuning occasionally. NOTE: Keep an eye on these especially if you are unsure of where the hot spots are on your grill; there is a lot of sugar in squash and they can burn quickly. Remove from grill and when cool enough to handle, peel away the skin; cut into bite-size pieces.

Make the vinaigrette: To a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, syrup and seasonings. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking.

To the vinaigrette add the cooked quinoa, wild rice, and pumpkin; toss to thoroughly coat. Add in the scallions, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans and lightly toss to combine. Can be made up to 6 hours ahead; store covered in the refrigerator.

Gently toss before serving.

Cheers and Happy Grilling!
~Jeff

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