Recipe: Quinoa, feta and lemon salad

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In my search to find protein-rich foods, I’ve rather fallen at quinoa’s cute curly little feet. It’s quick to cook, has a slightly nutty flavour and a much more pleasing texture than couscous. And it loves citrus flavours, as do I …

This is the perfect lunch recipe, as you can fiddle around with the amounts to your heart’s content, and also muck about with what goes into the salad. I bought an avocado to put in, forget all about it, then decided later that I hadn’t missed it. And the salad is still tasty the next day, particularly if you’ve been generous with the lemon juice. I have found, though, that it’s better to add the feta fresh.

Quinoa & feta salad

 

Ingredients (serves two)

Half a mug of quinoa, cooked in twice the amount of water

One small red onion

Teaspoon of tarragon (dried is fine)

Half a cucumber (peeled and chopped into small dice)

Six spring onions

Splash of white wine vinegar

Zest of one lemon

Juice of half a lemon

Feta cheese

Cook the quinoa for about ten minutes in twice the amount of water and then set aside to cool – this is a salad that’s nicer just this side of cold. You shouldn’t have to drain it, as it absorbs the water.

Fry the onion until there’s just a little bit of bite left in it. Mix in a teaspoon of tarragon. Leave to cool.

Peel and chop the cucumber, then chop the white stalk of the spring onions. Add to the onion and then mix into the quinoa. Add the lemon zest and juice. I sometimes add black pepper, but it doesn’t really need salt because the feta is salty. Crumble as much feta as you fancy over the salad.

This recipe has been adapted from two or three different sources. The original one which was, I think, out of the BBC Good Food magazine, had red wine vinegar and orange zest and juice which I didn’t think went well with the other flavours, so I substituted white wine vinegar and lemon juice and zest.

You could add some cubed avocado, but I think the contrast between the lemon and the feta works better without it.

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