A friend phoned a couple of days ago and asked Hubby and me over for a dip in their pool and a relaxing evening at their place. With little effort we decided they’d BBQ some chicken and make the satay sauce and we’d bring the quinoa salad.
Something like a quinoa salad is simple to make because all you need to do is boil up the grain and throw pretty much anything in it that strikes your fancy: vegetables, nuts, cheese, fruit, herbs, dressing. We went through the kitchen and found a sweet potato, some onions, garlic, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and feta cheese that would combine to make a good salad, but it was just going to be good. Down into the garden we trudged and harvested radishes, tomatoes, chilli, spring onions, mint, parsley, oregano and basil. Now it was going to be a great salad.
The “recipe” for this incarnation of quinoa salad is dead easy:
- Cook quinoa according to directions on the package (mine said 1 cup grain to 2 cups water – boil then simmer for 15 mins).
- While that’s cooking, toss potatoes, onions and garlic with a bit of olive oil in a roasting pan and bake at 200 C until done (20 minutes?).
- Put nuts and seeds in pan on top of stove and heat quickly, shaking pan often, being careful not to burn.
- Set grains and roasted vegies aside to cool. When cool, chop up and add: chilli, radishes, tomatoes, spring onions and herbs. Add nuts, seeds and chunks of feta cheese.
- Sprinkle salad with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste – stir through gently, avoiding breaking up the vegetables and cheese.
- Place in fridge to cool – can be served cold or room temp (or even warm). Can be made a day ahead of time. Makes great leftovers if you can’t finish it all in one go.
The garden gives us the ability to throw together really special dishes without rushing to the shops to get a bunch of ingredients – even when the bulk of a dish comes from the shops (or our cupboard) we seem to always manage to improve it with something from our garden.
Our garden saves us money, has us eating a lot healthier, allows us to create tasty masterpieces we’d never attempt if we had to buy the plethora of ingredients and makes us proud to share our bounty with others. The numbers of ways I love my garden are legion!