Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (Gluten Free!)

Many thanks to Stephanie Willaton for sharing this delicious recipe from her cookbook “Nourish”. You can reach her at this email address for more information or to order the book: info@nourishforlife.com.au

This recipe is a good alternative for people with a gluten or wheat intolerance. Pronounced ‘keen wah”, quinoa is a nutty, tasty grain that is also a complete protein source…
serves 4-6

OPTIONS
• Other ingredients that are great in this salad: black olives; cucumber; roasted pumpkin or eggplant; cooked lentils or chickpeas; seasoned tofu or chicken.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup white quinoa
Dressing:
• 2 cups water
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• fine sea salt to taste
• 2 red capsicum
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 1 cup tomato wedges, 3-4 cm in size
• ¼ cup+ extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
• 2 spring onions (shallots), finely sliced (about ½ cup)
• ½ cup fetta, crumbled

Rinse the quinoa well using a fine sieve, then drain thoroughly (make sure there isn’t any excess water as this can make the grains too soft) and place in a saucepan with the water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down to low and cook for 15-20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

Using tongs, hold the capsicum over a gas flame to char the outer skins. As they turn black, slowly rotate to cook evenly. Place the chargrilled capsicum in a mixing bowl and cover with glad wrap to seal – as they steam in their own heat, the flesh will soften and make it easy to remove the skins. Leave for 5-10 minutes, then gently peel off the outer skins and inner membrane/seeds. Cut into thin slices about 5 cm long.
If there is any sweet juice left in the bowl, save and add this to the dressing mixture.

Place the cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl and leave to cool a bit – the grains will separate more as they cool down. Add the capsicum, tomatoes, herbs, spring onion and fetta to the cooled quinoa.

Combine the garlic, 1 large pinch of salt, and the lemon juice; stir to dissolve. Mix in the oil, then add to the quinoa mix. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary to taste. The flavours should be harmonious and vibrant!