Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Quinoa Salad

What did you do this weekend?
I spent mine sitting in my aunt's garden, enjoying the sun and the fact that I finally managed to find the time to read the new Kane Chronicles book (is it just me or is there a crossover with the heroes of the olympus series in the works?) oh, and then there was the food. I pretty much spent the entire weekend baking and cooking and eating.
We made this salad (which is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe) to go with some grilled amazingness off the barbecue and some almond meal rolls and it worked beautifully.
What should I tell you about this salad? It's relatively quick, it's summery, it's gluten-free. Oh, and it tastes fantastic.
Go on, you know you want to make some quinoa salad for dinner :)

Quinoa Salad
150g Quinoa
2 Fennel Bulbs
300g Broad Beans (fresh or frozen, the tinned kind is gross)
A handful Green Beans
70 ml Olive Oil
1 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp chopped Mint
2 tbsp chopped Cilantro
2 tbsp chopped Dill
2-3 Limes
Salt & Pepper

Slice the fennel into slices that are about as thick as a 2 Euro coin. Then sauté the slices with about 50 ml of the oil over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

While the fennel is sautéing away, boil some water, add some salt and cook the quinoa in it.
Give it about 10 minutes but check towards the end - you want the quinoa to be al dente rather than resembling school cafeteria pasta.

When the quinoa is done, drain it into a sieve and rinse it with cold water so it stops cooking and cools down.

Don't forget about the fennel.

Once the fennel is soft, add the sugar, vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. Stir things for a couple of minutes before you take the mix off the heat and set it aside in a bowl.

Bring two pots of water to a boil and add some salt to each.

Cook the cook the green beans for 4 or 5 minutes, drain them and either rinse them in cold water or (even better) submerge them in ice-water so they cool quickly and keep their beautiful colour.

Cook the broad beans for a minute or so, drain them and rinse in cold water. Broad beans have this leathery thick skin, you'll want to peel that skin off to reveal their true beauty.

Mix the quinoa, fennel, and beans. Then add the cumin and herbs and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Squeeze the limes and add enough of the juice to the salad so you can feel the limey tang but not so much that you can barely taste anything else. If you like you can scoop the pulp and add it to the salad.

All right, I hope you have a fabulous rest of your week. I know I will. My friend Katharina from high school is coming to visit. Oh, the excitement! :)

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