by lucy carr ellison

Tart London: How to make green quinoa salad

Come lunchtime, we normally crave a big bowl of cheesy pasta. But as summer is around the corner and we want to look good on holiday, we’re more likely to make this really delicious green quinoa salad. If you have to be healthy, at least this recipe is an enjoyable way to do it.

We’ve had so many quinoa salads that taste of nothing: salads that lack seasoning, dressing and soul. It’s not fair on quinoa as it can easily be made tasty. First, you need seasonal ingredients. Now it’s May, we’re in luck. There’s an abundance of broad beans, peas, asparagus and spinach, not to mention broccoli, spring onions and lots of lovely herbs. Crunchy green vegetables make us so happy. They go hand in hand with that marvellous springtime smell of mown grass and bring to mind the feeling of the sun warming your cheeks for the first time in months.

This recipe is packed full of vitamins and minerals, and will feed all of your guests no matter what their intolerances. It’s also a great all-rounder dish, as it goes with almost anything. It works with both meat and fish. It’s perfect to serve at a barbecue on a hot spring day, and it’s comforting on a chilly one. It’s delicious by itself at lunch, or topped with a poached egg at breakfast, when we like to add slices of griddled halloumi, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of chilli or coriander. Make sure you eat the cheese while it’s warm and soft, before it turns into squeaky old rubber.

A hearty springtime salad like this is just asking to be played with, so swap in any ingredients you fancy.

Ingredients

For the dressing

100ml olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

A squeeze of honey

1 tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper

For the salad

200g quinoa, cooked according to instructions and drained

150g fresh garden peas

150g broad beans

A handful of sugar snap peas, thinly sliced

4 radishes, cut into chunks

A bunch of dill, chopped

Leaves from three sprigs of mint

4 spring onions, chopped

50g sunflower seeds, toasted

2 avocados, peeled and chopped into chunks

100g feta, crumbled (optional)

Method

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and combine with the cooked quinoa in a large bowl. In a pan of boiling water, simmer the peas for 30 seconds then remove (keeping the water boiling). Dunk in cold water to refresh and add to the quinoa. Add the broad beans to the boiling water, cook for 3 minutes, remove and refresh in cold water. Nip the ends of each bean pod and squeeze the beans out of their jackets, then add to the quinoa.

Stir in the sugar snap peas, radishes, dill, mint, spring onions and sunflower seeds, and gently mix everything together. Serve in a pretty bowl with the avocado chunks and crumbled feta gently folded through.