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Kale and Quinoa Salad

with Roasted Winter Vegetables New York, USA

“We create privately operated public green spaces that allow city dwellers to begin reconnecting with their food source”

Simon Roberts Urban Farmer

About Simon

A long way from his home shores of Australia and traditional farming, Simon is an urban farmer in New York City at North Brooklyn Farms.

Unused, inner city land is reshaped into pleasing public green spaces by North Brooklyn Farms, creating greater social interaction and a sense of community for locals. People are able to connect with nature and their food system, having access to sustainably grown produce, which is very very local. The creation of their farm on the footprint of the old Domino Sugar refinery building marks the first time that stretch of the East River has been open to the public in over 150 years, and allows the public to really use their own city.

As well as being open to the public on a daily basis, North Brooklyn Farms offers a weekly food box scheme to neighbors, of produce grown on site. Resident chefs and farmers work together to create recipe ideas to accompany each box of fresh produce. They also conduct private and public events, a summer dinner series and educational workshops to promote public participation.

There is growing community support for urban farms in large cities across the world. However, Simon explains that there a number of challenges facing urban farming groups in New York. The main obstacles being the high cost of access to land, as well as finding enough space to produce large quantities of food for growing urban populations. Technology is allowing them to be more creative with solutions and they are hoping to bring more of the food production system into urban environments where the demand actually is.

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The recipe

Winter can be a grey time in big cities such as New York. But this salad, bursting with flavours and textures, shows that winter doesn’t need to be without colour.

Ingredients - serves 4

  • Salad

    • 1 small butternut pumpkin
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 3 medium beetroots
    • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
    • 2 cups kale, shredded
    • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
    • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
    • Sea salt
  • Dressing

    • 4 Tbsp olive oil
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1 Tbsp honey
    • 1 Tbsp tahini
    • 2 Tbsp water
    • Sea salt to taste


    • 1) Preheat oven to 180°C.
    • 2) Cut pumpkin into bite sized chunks or into thin wedges. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cumin. Spread on a baking tray and roast for 20-30minutes until tender and golden. Remove and leave to cool.
    • 3) Wrap beetroots, with skin, in foil and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes until tender. Remove and cool before chopping into chunks.
    • 4) Make the dressing; whisk lemon juice with salt, cumin and garlic. Once the salt has dissolved add all other ingredients and whisk to combine. Add 1 Tbsp of water if the dressing is too thick. Adjust salt to taste.
    • 5) Toss the kale through the dressing, then add the quinoa and mix. Just before serving toss the pumpkin and beetroot through the mixture. Plate on an open platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and walnuts.

      Serve alongside roast turkey or chicken to bring a little colour to your Christmas table!

Nutrition value

This salad can be considered a tasty, colorful and healthy dish. Kale is a rich source of vitamin A, C, K and dietary minerals including calcium and potassium and is known for its beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferré Dietician and PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology

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