Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Quinoa Mushroom Salad with Parsley Pesto and Hazelnuts

The weather has been a little cray cray. Apparently there are parts of the country under a cover of snow where they were fighting bush fires last year at this time. So, while it's officially spring, it's not too late to indulge in a little hazelnut-cranberry action before the heat of summer burns off our taste for cozy comfort food. That's my way of thinking. But then, I am a little cray cray when it comes to 'shrooms.

Quinoa Mushroom Salad with Parsley Pesto and Hazelnuts
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Parsley Pesto:
1 clove garlic
Pinch salt
Large handful parsley leaves
60g toasted hazelnuts
100ml extra virgin olive oil
70g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the Salad:
15g dried porcini mushrooms
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g mushrooms (I used Portobello), thinly sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 glove garlic, minced
175g quinoa
100g dried cranberries
1 quantity parsley pesto
Squeeze lemon juice
75g toasted hazelnuts

Make the Pesto:
Place all the ingredients except the cheese into a blender and blitz. Stir the cheese through and set aside.

Make the Salad:
Put the dried mushrooms into a heatproof bowl and 350ml boiled water. Set aside.

Put half the butter with the olive oil into a frying pan and heat over high heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and saute until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to a medium heat and add the remaining butter. Add the shallots and cook until they start to soften. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Strain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and finely chop and add them to the quinoa. Pour in the soaking liquid and bring to the boil. Season generously with salt, lower the heat  and simmer gently for 18 - 20 minutes until the quinoa is soft and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the cranberries and the cooked mushrooms.

Stir a couple of tablespoons of the pesto through the salad and then add a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon the salad onto a big serving plate and drizzle with more pesto. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and spritz with lemon.


  1. What a nice combination of quinoa and mushrooms! The salad looks really tasty! :)

  2. That's my kind of salad. I love mushrooms and with the quinoa, I'm sure it's a good mix. Loooove it :)