Herbed Quinoa Salad

herbed quinoa salad in bowls on a table with poppies in a vase for lunch lady magazine

Salads have a bad reputation for being boring but this herbed quinoa salad is anything but dull. It has loads of fresh flavour and plenty of veg, and it's also filling thanks to the quinoa. 


Herbed Quinoa Salad with Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant, plus Lemon and Tahini Dressing

(Serves 6–8)

For the lemon + tahini dressing:

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp (60ml / 2 fl oz) tahini
  • pinch of salt flakes
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp (5ml / 0.17 fl oz) honey
  • 3 tbsp (60ml / 2 fl oz) cold water, or a little more as required

To make the dressing:

  1. Shake all of the ingredients, starting with 3 tbsp of cold water, together in a jar. Shake vigorously until the dressing is completely smooth.
  1. Add a little more water, as necessary, if the dressing is too thick.

For the roasted zucchini + eggplant:

  • 350g / 12.3oz zucchini
  • 400g / 14oz eggplant
  • 4 tbsp (80ml / 2.7 fl oz) olive oil
  • salt + pepper

To make the veggies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7.
  1. Chop the zucchini and eggplant into medium to large chunks. Drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  1. Arrange on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30–35 minutes, turning halfway through, or until tender and golden.
  1. Remove from the oven to cool slightly, or cool to room temperature.

For the herbed quinoa:

  • 1 cup (160g / 5.6oz) raw quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups (500ml / 17 fl oz) water
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp (20ml / 0.7 fl oz) olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • extra salt + pepper, to season

To cook the quinoa:

  1. Rinse the quinoa well under running water until all soapy residue is removed.
  1. Tip the quinoa into a medium-sized saucepan, and then add in the water and fine salt.
  1. Bring to the boil with the lid on before removing the lid, reducing to a simmer and cooking for 10–15 minutes or until the water has disappeared and the quinoa is tender. Skim any foam from the top of the quinoa while it’s simmering, and discard it.
  1. Once the quinoa is cooked and no water remains, toss through the olive oil, lemon zest, and extra salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly.

To assemble the quinoa salad:

You'll need:

  • 1 batch of cooked quinoa
  • 3 cups (750ml / 25 fl oz) of soft green herbs (such as dill, parsley and mint), roughly chopped
  • 1 batch of roasted zucchini + eggplant
  • 1/2 cup (70g / 2.5 oz) toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (50g / 1.8 oz) golden raisins or currants
  • tahini + lemon dressing
  • zest of 1 lemon, optional


  1. In a large salad bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa and the freshly chopped herbs.
  1. Scatter the roasted vegetables on top.
  1. Sprinkle over the almonds and raisins.
  1. Drizzle over the dressing and add the extra lemon zest, if you’d like.


Herbed Quinoa Salad originally featured in Lunch Lady Magazine Issue 13. Recipe by Amber Rossouw and photograph by Jacinta Moore.  

Tags Food recipes