Yesterday was the first day of the year I could sit outside with a coffee in the sunshine and appreciate the summer warmth.

Even if it was only for the day, it gives you hope that summer is on its way. Hope that they’ll be months upon months where sitting outside from morning to evening will be possible.

The summer weather calls for light meals full of flavour. Quinoa is a great base for a salad. Nutty in flavour, it makes a great base for other flavours, herbs and spices to be thrown on it.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a great recipe for roasted squash. You simply toss the cubes of squash in some oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roast it for around 35 minutes. It produces of soft, sweet fragrant squash. Add this to some quinoa, watercress and a lemony dressing and you’ll have a nutty, sweet light summer salad.

salad

The Recipe – Serves 4

Half a butternut squash
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 pack of Merchant Gourmet Mixed Grains
A large bunch of watercress
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

– Cut the squash into chunks removing any seeds.
– Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees.
– Place the squash in a baking tray with 3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper and a generous drizzle of oil.
– Roast for 35-40 minutes until soft, turning half way through.
– In a bowl place the mixed grains, squash and watercress.
– In a jug mix together the remaining clove of garlic (crushed), mustard, honey, lemon juice and rapeseed oil. Pour over the salad.