Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

  • prep time75 min
  • total time 110 min
  • serves 6
Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis Giada at Home

This healthy salad is a great way to get some whole grains and veggies into your diet. It's filled with great flavours and textures, and easy to pack for lunch or a picnic.

138 Ratings
Directions for: Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette



2 tsp cumin seeds

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

⅛ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp ground cloves

1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)


1 can vegetable broth (about 2 cups)

1 ¼ cups whole-grain quinoa, preferably organic

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 eggplant (1 1/4 lbs), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 large Honey Crisp or Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled, cored, quartered

¾ cup walnut pieces, toasted, or 1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

½ cup dried cranberries

1 bunch watercress



1. Toast the seeds over medium heat in a heavy medium skillet, stirring occasionally, until the seeds darken in color and become fragrant, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Place the seeds on a plate; cool for 1 minute. Grind the seeds finely in a small food mill or grinder.

2. Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and the toasted seeds until thick and blended in a small bowl. Stir in the shallots. Set the vinaigrette aside.


1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.

2. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Mix in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool and fluff with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, spray a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper on the sheet. Roast until tender and browned, stirring once, about 30 minutes.

4. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Add the vinaigrette, eggplant, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Toss to blend.

See more: Lunch, Main, Salad, Side, Vegetables, Vegetarian


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