I never really got on the quinoa bandwagon. I know it's a "superfood" and that it's packed with things that will make me live to 100 and make me look like a supermodel, but I just haven't been able to fall in love with it. Is it just me, or is it a bit bland to eat and to look at? For me, quinoa needs a lot of help. When I say help, I mean the addition of golden fried cheese, crunchy toasted seeds, sweet dried fruit, fresh lemon, herbs and spices and lugs of the best olive oil... And turning it as hot pink as a sluts lipstick doesn't hurt with the aesthetics either.
adapted from here
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 x 250g packet haloumi, cut into thin slices
300g white quinoa, washed
1 x 250g packet cooked baby beetroots
3 tablespoons sultanas
120ml red wine vinegar
Juice 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 teaspoons ground cumin
100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
200g baby spinach leaves, chopped
2 handfuls dill fronds
1 lemon, quartered to serve
Toast the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until golden. Set aside to cool.
Return the frying pan to the stove and fry the haloumi (without any oil), over medium heat until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
Put the quinoa into a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Put the beetroot into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pour the puree into a sieve and leave to drain for at least 5 minutes.
Put the sultanas into a small saucepan and 3 tablespoons of the vinegar. Bring to boil, then take off the heat and set aside to cool.
Put the lemon juice, the remaining vinegar, garlic, cumin and 100ml of the oil into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the drained quinoa to the dressing and toss. Add the beetroot puree, combine and set aside for 5 minutes so that the quinoa can soak up the juices.
Place the spinach on a large serving platter and top with the quinoa. Top with the fried haloumi, scatter over the sultanas, dill and toasted seeds. Sprinkle with extra olive oil and serve with lemon quarters.