When you live in a hot country salads are the only way to survive through summer. I can barely bring myself to turn on the oven when my house is already a stonking 30 degrees C INSIDE! The most cooking I can stomach on days like these is a pan or two on the hob for minimum time!
This delicious and fresh salad is perfect for those sizzling February nights. It’s light, healthy and nourishing, and requires minimum effort. The quinoa has a lovely grassy nuttiness to it and makes a nice change from its less fashionable cousin, cous cous.
CLICK HERE to see this recipe as part of a meal plan.
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 medium cooked beetroot
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable stock/water
3 cups chopped mixed lettuce
1 cup green beans
2 tbsp Persian feta
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp oil from Persian feta
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
To cook the quinoa place it in a saucepan with 1 cup of boiling water or vegetable stock, season, and place the lid on. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and easily separated with a fork.
Top and tail the green beans and blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool (plunge into iced water to retain the vibrant green colour).
Roughly chop the salad leaves and beetroot and place in a large bowl. Add the beans and cooked quinoa and mix well.
To make the dressing simply whisk together the oil and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper and drizzle over the salad immediately before serving.
Top with hot toasted pine nuts – toast the pine nuts with the fennel seeds in a heavy based frying pan for about 2 minutes until they begin to char – add the feta and serve.
Smoked chicken breast
A chilled glass of Pinot Noir if you’re feeling fancy!