Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Roasted Almonds and Mixed Herbs

The weather is still pretty Baltic outside but that doesn’t stop me enjoying a good salad. I used to think of salad as a horrid tasteless array of mixed vegetables (iceberg lettuce I’m looking at you) I force fed to myself while trying to eat virtuously. Or, worst of all, a lunch box filled with warm soggy limp salad. Gone are those days-no soggy lettuce and tomatoes here. In recent years salads have reached new heights and I just can’t get enough of them.

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I love to make up big bowls of salads at the weekend and have them resting in the fridge for quick and easy lunches through the week. Throw a few together in a lunch box and you’re set to go.

This is one of my favourites. Quinoa is pretty bland all on its owny own but jazz it up with a good dressing and some tasty additions and you have a meal that doesn’t need much else but some diced avocado and a extra squeeze of lime.

The Sumac does give a little something extra but if you can’t find any you can just omit it. It does turn the salad a lovely shade of pink which just adds extra to its beauty.   The measurements for the herbs are to my taste, add less or more as you like.

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Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Roasted Almonds and Mixed Herbs

1 cup of Quinoa

3 Cups of Water

1tsp Salt 1 Tsp Black Pepper

4 Scallions, finely chopped

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Mint

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Corriander

1 Pomegranate

1/3 Cup Almonds, lightly toasted

Dressing:

Juice of 2 Lemons (about 6 tablespoons)

2 tblsp  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Sumac

1/2-1 tsp Salt + 1 tsp Black pepper

Salt and Pepper

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  • Place the quinoa in a medium size pot with the water and the salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. It should still have a bite to it. DO NOT STIR, resist temptations.
  • When the quinoa is cooked set aside and allow to cool.
  • To toast the almonds, place on frying pan over a medium heat until they are lightly golden and warmed through. Move around the pan frequently to prevent them from catching. It takes about 5 minutes.
  • Once they are toasted, set aside to cool.
  • While everything is cooling get along with chopping up your herbs, scallions and the daunting task of removing the pomegranate pips. I’ve read so many methods for this, putting in water, hitting with a wooden spoon and scooping out with a fork-all of which create an almighty mess. I find the best way is to chop the pomegranate in half then turn each side inside out and remove the seeds with your hands.Do this over a separate bowl so you can remove any unwanted bits afterwards.
  • Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk together, pretty simple.
  • Once the quinoa is cooled stir it through with a fork to make it nice and fluffy and break up any lumps.
  • Roughly chop the almonds- I like quite big chunks.
  • Once everything is ready place everything into a big mixing bowl, leaving the dressing until last, and stir well.
  • Give it a taste and add extra salt and pepper as needed.

There you have it. A simple and delicious salad to keep you going through the week. x

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