March 21, 2013

Recipe | Quinoa_Cous Cous Salad

It's not as complex as it may look from the list of ingredients and my (longwinded) explanation.  It tastes delicious and a really nice 'wintery spring' lunch!  The cauliflower is my favourite part which I didn't expect.

What you'll need: 
Serves 2 (generously)
- 1 cup of either quinoa or cous cous

- 4/5 uncooked beetroot - peeled and quartered

- 2 carrots - peeled and cut into chunky strips

- 1 cauliflower head - cut florets off the stalk into mouth sized pieces

- 1 handful of radish - sliced thinly (optional)

- 1 handful of leeks / spring onion - sliced thinly (optional)

- 6 garlic cloves

- 1 lemon - cut in half

- 1 bunch of rosemary

- Olive oil

- Handful of walnuts or pecans - roughly chopped

- Salt and pepper

How it's done:
Pre-heat the oven to 390 degrees F | 200 degrees C.

Cover a shallow tin with foil and throw on a few glugs of olive oil just to thinly cover the base.  Add a sprig or two of the rosemary chopped up and the garlic cloves still in their skin.  

Rub the beets into the oil to give them a thin coating and pop in the oven.  Set the timer for 20mins.  

Whilst the beets are cooking, add a very small coating of oil to a non-stick saucepan.  Put on a medium heat.  Add the two halves of lemon, cut side down, and cook on a gentle heat until they start to release a lemony scent.  Keep an eye on it so that the bottom doesn't burn.  Once they are done remove them from the pan and put aside for later.  

For the quinoa: add it to the pan with the juices from the lemon and cover with two cups of water, a little salt and pepper and a drop of oil.  Bring to to the boil, cover and simmer until the quinoa has soaked up all the liquid.  Stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat and leave to steam.

For the cous cous: add it to the pan with the juices from the lemon and cover with enough hot water to just cover over.  DO NOT put back onto the heat.  Give it a little stir, add salt pepper and a drop of oil.  Put the pan lid on an leave until the water has been soaked up by the cous cous.  Stir again with a fork to break up the grains.  If it looks too liquify you can always add a little more cous cous and vice versa, if it looks a little dry add more hot water.  Leave to steam.

Once the 20 minutes are up on the timer, add the carrots and cauliflower and cook for a further 20 minutes making sure all the veg has a slight coating of oil.  If you find they are cooking too quickly and burning then turn the heat down a notch.  You are wanting them to be cooked but retain a nice crunchy bite.

For the dressing:
Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil to a jar or bowl, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice from the lemons halves, add a pinch of fresh rosemary.  Using the garlic from the oven tray, peel and disguard skin, mash with a fork and a little salt and add half a teaspoon to the olive oil.  You can always add more depending on your garlic taste.  Give the dressing a good stir or shake if using a lidded jar.

For the topping:
Toast the nuts with a sprig of chopped rosemary until the nuts are slightly browned and the rosemary is fragrant.  

To assemble:
Once all veg is cooked, add to a big bowl along with sliced radish and leeks (if using) and the quinoa/cous cous.  Add the dressing and half the rosemary nuts and mix well to combine.

Serve up into nice individual bowls with some salad leaves or a little cheese and scatter the remaining rosemary nuts on the top.

And enjoy!
Roasted Veggie Grains!

The good thing about this recipe is that the vegetables can be adapted to suit what you have in the fridge.  Broccoli/Cabbage/Parsnips... experiment with different types and let me know how you get on!

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