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Friday, June 26, 2009

Lemon Infused Courgette Salad with Red Quinoia

Summery Salad Confusion

Arriving at my local shop hungry and tired after a long day at work, I collected for myself a wonderful collection of random purchases, with little or no logic as to what I was making for dinner apart from salad.
From chaotic beginnings, came a very delicious result - score!!


Quinoa originates from Peru, Chile and Bolivia. It is a complete protein making it a very healthy option for vegetarians and vegans, more info on how wonderful Quinoa is here my blog ain't big enough to fill you in on all the wonders of this little grain! It's delicious and crunchy, with a nutty taste and can take the place of rice, or pasta in many dishes. I prefer the red quinoa as it looks more substantial than it's white counter part which goes quite translucent. A little white sprout comes out of them when the grains are cooked - so don't panic - that's normal.

Ingredients
I large courgette
Juice & Zest of half a lemon

5 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt & Pepper

A small bunch of chives -chopped finely

3 scallions - sliced finely

1 cup of red Quinoa

1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil - drained & diced

crumble of stock cube

1 teaspoon tahini
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

Freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano


Grate the courgette into thin slivers - I use my potato peeler to do this, it leaves you with an awkward centre piece that you can't grate so I just chopped this into little cubes and threw it in too. Potato peelers are also handy for cutting nice thin slices of cheese I find, and also to julienne carrots. By jullienne I mean slice thinly, cause I'm not sure of the exact meaning.


Toss your courgette strips with the juice and zest of half a lemon, tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper. If you have anything to do for about half an hour, like some gardening or washing, it'd be nice to leave them infuse for a little while, if you're really hungry fear not, it'll still turn out great. Toss well and then pop under a medium grill.

While they're grilling cook some Quinoa in twice it's volume of water - I crumbled in a small amount of stock cube in, for the laugh, not sure it made any difference. Cook till it is soft and starting to brown nicely - give it a bit of a stir around every so often to cook evenly.


To make the dressing put oregano - 4 tablespoons of oil, tahini, white wine vinegar, salt & pepper, and blend well. I'm trying to wean myself of popping a clove of garlic into everything I make, starting with this salad.

Remove courgettes from the grill and allow to cool slightly, drain quinoa and run under cold tap to cool. Put sun dried tomato, scallions, chives, courgette and quinoa, then pop into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan, and some black pepper.
If you have a food blog - garnish with some parsley to look pretty! I would have popped some finely chopped parsley if I had managed to grow more than 2 sprigs in my garden.

Enjoy outdoors if possible

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