Fresh spring greens just shout out healthy salad, but sometimes you need something that is a bit more filling than just vegetables! This quinoa base is healthy and filling, but its subtle flavour does not detract from the wonderful fresh watercress and spring onion.

This salad has a wonderful combination of different flavours, with the crunchy baked chickpeas adding a lovely bite (they also make a super snack by themselves so double the quantity if you want some left over to nibble on…). To top it all off, I use pomegranate molasses to make a rich, slightly sharp, dressing. Whilst not an ingredient you may have to hand, I highly recommend giving it a go! Available in most larger supermarkets, the molasses make a wonderful addition to dressings, but are also brilliant on roast chicken and even in desserts. It is not particularly expensive and a small bottle will last a good while in the larder. If you don’t have any though, don’t be put off making this salad, just drizzle with olive oil, or make a simple balsamic vinegar-olive oil dressing.

Serves 2
100g dry quinoa
100g chickpeas (drained weight) plus olive oil for roasting
½ tsp paprika
2 handfuls of watercress
3 spring onions
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C. Drain and dry the chickpeas as well as you can. Put them on a baking try and drizzle over olive oil and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. Toss around to cover well. Bake in the oven for 20-30min, shaking every 10mins to bake evenly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the paprika (if you do this before baking, the paprika can burn and taste bitter). Leave the chickpeas to cool.

Prepare the quinoa while the chickpeas are baking. Follow package instructions – usually it requires about 10-15min simmering. Leave aside to cool.

When your chickpeas and quinoa are cooling, mix together the molasses, vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing. Shred the spring onions, then toss the quinoa, watercress, spring onions and chickpeas together and drizzle the dressing over the top.

Vegetarian and vegan