Just a quick disclaimer, I am by no means a professional chef(!) and this recipe along with any others I share are simply my own recipes that I really enjoy. I hope they will inspire some of your own flavour combinations and to get creative in the kitchen!
The base for this salad is Quinoa (KEEN-WAAH for those who, like me, are regularly confused by the pronunciation). This trendy superfood has been on the front page of the foodie’s magazine for quite a while now and it really is such a great grain to cook with. It contains more protein than any other grain or seed and is also praised for it’s high nutritive content of iron, calcium and B vitamins. What’s more, it tastes scrummy. With the Quinoa, I’ve tossed dried fruit, fresh fruit and feta cheese to create a combination of flavours and textures that I think, is wonderfully delicious.
1 Cup of Quinoa (I use about 125g)
1 Red Onion
1 1/ tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of Salt
1 Granny Smith Apple
70g Dried Cranberries
150g Feta Cheese (I like to use the Apetina Feta Classic Cubes)
1. DONT FORGET TO RINSE THOROUGHLY! Quinoa has a bitter coating which needs to be washed off before it is cooked, otherwise the flavour is affected. Just make sure you use a fine mesh strainer!
2. As I have said above, the rule of thumb is 1 cup of Quinoa to 2 cups of water (or stock). However, I have found that I prefer the Quinoa when I cook it with about 1 1/2 cups of water, as opposed to two. So if I’m using 125g of gain, I tend to measure out about 190-200ml of water to cook with. This still gives a tender result but also prevents it from becoming soggy and I find I don’t need to strain it after cooking.
3. Leave it to stand. After cooking, fluff up the Quinoa with a fork and then cover the pan and leave it to stand for a further 5 minutes. It really makes a difference!