Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quinoa salad - Ottolenghi recipe

My lovely friend Helen made this quinoa salad for me for dinner one evening.  It's a tasty, light, summery dish, which will be just perfect if summer makes a reappearance.  The roasted sweet potato gives it a bit of oomph too, so it does fill you up.  Which I like.

I first ate quinoa in South America, where the Incas have been growing it for thousands of years - amusing really when you think how we've just 'discovered' it as a superfood here!

It's really not difficult to make but it does take a little bit of time.  Recipe courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi,
very slightly adapted by me.

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 350g each)
200g mixed basmati and wild rice (I used just basmati, as I didn't have wild)
200g quinoa (I bought mine from a health food shop but I think a lot of bigger supermarkets sell it now)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
3 tbsp shredded sage leaves
2 limes, juice and zest (the recipe calls for Iranian limes but I just used regular, sorry Mr Ottolenghi)
6 tbsp shredded fresh mint
4 spring onions, green part only, thinly sliced, plus extra to garnish
200g feta, broken into chunks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut roughly into 2cm dice. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, cook the rice as per the packet instructions. Put the quinoa in a pan with lots of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain into a fine sieve and leave to dry. Put the cooked and dry (but still warm) rice and quinoa in a large mixing bowl.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the garlic for 30 seconds, or until it turns light golden. Add the sage and fry, stirring, for about a minute - make sure the herbs and garlic don't burn.

Tip the contents of the pan over the rice and quinoa, then stir in the roasted sweet potato and its oil. Add the mint, spring onion, lime juice and zest, feta and salt and pepper, toss together gently, taking care not to mush up the sweet potato and feta, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warmish, or at room temperature, garnished with spring onion.

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