This is just the kind of thing I want to eat this time of year, with cosy roasted veg and warming spices that are brightened up by the sharpness of lemon and dill. I’ve used pumpkin here because you can quite often find them on sale post Halloween, but butternut squash would work well too. Another plus is that the beetroot dyes the whole thing dark pink, which is pretty cool- and it tastes great whilst definitely fitting in with your pre Christmas-party diet. You can keep it vegan if you like, or top the dish with a little feta or goats cheese for another kick of flavour.
1 large raw beetroot (roughly 200g weight)
1 red onion
400g pumpkin/ squash (about 1/2 a small butternut squash)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 handful dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the dressing:
1 tbsp mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 pinch salt and pepper
Optional, to serve:
Feta or goats cheese
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Start by prepping your vegetables, deseeding the pumpkin and squash and cutting it and the beetroot into roughly 2 cm chunks, then halve and peel the onion and cut each half into about six pieces.
Tip it all onto a roasting tray and mix together with the olive oil and spices and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, then put in the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, or until all the veg is tender and starting to brown in places.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa on the hob according to packet instructions (this usually takes about 15-20 minutes) then set aside. Make the dressing by mixing the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, honey and a little salt and pepper in a small bowl. Roughly chop the dill and finely grate the lemon zest, then set aside.
Once the vegetables are cooked, tip into a serving dish with the quinoa and toss together with the dressing, dill and lemon zest until everything is evenly combined. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if needed, then crumble over the feta or goats cheese, if using.
Spoon into bowls and eat hot, or make ahead of time and have it cold as a quinoa salad. Any leftovers can be packed up in an airtight container and should keep for a few days in the fridge, ready to be repurposed into a packed lunch or side dish to fish or chicken.