It's been a while since I brought you all a new recipe, and well this isn't new but it's my own variation on what is quickly becoming a very popular grain. Quinoa (pronounced anyway you feel like it) is one of my favourite things to eat. Never having been a big fan of couscous, simply because it's too easy to make a mess, quinoa has filled that gap in my life. It used to be quite expensive and only available at heath food stores but it has made quite a headway in the market in recent years. You caaaan find it in normal grocery stores now but it is more likely to be cheaper, and probably better, from a health food store. It really depends where you live as to what your supermarkets stock.
Anyway, here is my most recent salad creation with the delicious quinoa.
Serves 2-3 people for lunch
1 1/3 cup water
1 lebanese cucumber, finely diced
1 tomato, finely diced
1 red chilli (as hot or mild as you like), chopped roughly with out without seeds
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 sweet potato, chopped into bite size pieces and roasted (can be done anytime before)
250g prosciutto, chopped and briefly warmed in a frying pan
1/4 cup tahini
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
water to thin mixture
Depending on the time of year you make this salad, you'll either want it warmish or just cold. Its perfect either way and if you have left overs you can try both by popping it in the fridge for the next day. However, to avoid it being hot its best to get the quinoa out of the way and cooling down first. Most packets tell you to put whatever amount you desire in a saucepan with double the amount of water. The measurements I used are good for 2 - 3 people. Bring it to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to low so it can simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is not crunching to eat.
Once you have prepared all of your other ingredients you can get stuck into the dressing. This was the first time I'd made a tahini dressing and I must say I was a little surprised. Put the tahini, lemon juice and seasoning in a jar with a secured lid and shake. I'm sure there is a chemical name for whatever process the tahini goes through but I'm ignorant of it. This is where you'll need to add water. Add in tablespoonfuls of water (shaking the mixture in between) until you achieve a thin, runny consistency.
In a large salad bowl, mix the quinoa, diced cucumber, tomato, shallots and chilli (reserving some for topping). Then add in the sweet potato and prosciutto (again, reserving some for topping) and fold in gently to prevent breaking up the features of the salad. Pour over the dressing and ensure all the ingredients are covered. Serve two or three large tablespoonfuls per person and top with a simple arrangement of prosciutto and a sprinkling of chilli.
I hope you try and enjoy this recipe. It is completely from my imagination and quickly becoming one of my favourite things to eat.