With the mercury soaring and summer showing no signs of abating it’s all about BBQ’s and light salads right now.
The BBQ has certainly been seeing lots of action this week – three in the last 4 days with more planned for the weekend. To make up for the distinct lack of BBQ’s in the miserable proceeding months I’ve really being pushing the boat out with the food: Thai monkfish skewers, that were declared “the best fish on the BBQ you’ve ever done” by my elated boyfriend; the Lamb Shawarma was undoubtedly the most tender and tastiest lamb I’ve ever tasted; and the succulent chicken satay with mango rice salad was utterly delicious. It’s going to be hard to top but I like a challenge…
Maybe I shouldn’t have teased you by regaling such a mouth-watering selection of BBQ food first, as the quinoa salad doesn’t exactly sound that exciting now! But you can’t eat monkfish and legs of lamb every day, well I’d give it a go but I’d be bankrupt in no time for a start. I assure you that this vivid green salad is lovely and is perfect right now for a light meal (inbetween BBQ’s of course) in the blazing hot weather. It’s also a powerhouse of nutritious ingredients with green vegetables and herbs aplenty and a lemony Middle-Eastern inspired dressing to give it a twist. And good news for any Coeliacs or sufferers of food intolerances as this dish is completely gluten, wheat and dairy free.
I am so happy when broad beans, beans and peas start to appear in the markets, as it’s a true sign that summer is really here. Unless the beans are really young and small then once podded I always slip them from their inner skin to reveal the tender emerald bean within. It’s definitely handy to have nails to run along the seam to help you with this task but maybe my boyfriend is using that as an excuse because he finds it such a laborious task. I on the other hand find it very therapeutic and could quite happily pod away for hours as long as I’ve got some good music to accompany me in the kitchen.
My love of quinoa also shows no signs of fading and I recently found a box from Wholefoods containing a mixture of the white, red and black variety. You could use any type of quinoa for this salad though as it all tastes exactly the same but it looks particularly pretty I’m always looking for ways to make food look better. The white variety is much more readily available in the larger supermarkets so use what you can find. I’ve also discovered this great range of sprouts from GoodRU that are great for adding an extra burst of goodness and fresh flavour to salads and sandwiches. I chose the Super Shoots that are a vivid green mix of alfalfa, broccoli, clover and radish shoots as they look great in this dish but they’re certainly not essential.
The next big BBQ is planned for Sunday so until then I’m going to be enjoying beautiful salads made with the bounty of wonderful summer ingredients that are available right now.
1 avocado, peeled and diced
30g watercress, chopped
Third of large cucumber or 1 mini, deseeded and cut into small chunks
100g fresh broad beans, podded
2 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped mint, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped dill, finely chopped
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
25g salad sprouts
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sumac
1.5 tbsp oil
Juice of half lemon
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
- Put the broad beans in a medium saucepan with boiling water, bring back to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water then split the beans out of their pods.
- Add the spices to a small bowl, whisk in the oil and pomegranate molasses followed by the lemon juice and set aside.
- Mix all the salad ingredients together gently reserving some of the sprouts for garnish.