Keen-wah. Let’s just get this out of the way first thing. It’s pronounced keen-wah. Not quin-oa, as in quince and balboa. It’s Bolivian. That might explain it. And it’s not a grain, it’s a seed. Ok, pronunciation and random but crucial facts out of the way. I only discovered quinoa a few years ago but I love it. It’s a brilliant gf substitute for cous cous and I use it in lots of Middle Eastern recipes as a result. It’s also fab in salads in place of pasta, rice, or gluteny foods like barley or wheat berries. And, on top of all that, it is packed full of protein and lots of vital amino acids so it’s a nutritional powerhouse and keeps you feeling full for a very long time. Not to mention when you pronounce it correctly you can feel all intelligent and knowledgeable about food. What’s not to love?
The key to this dish tasting really good is cooking the quinoa in stock, which gives it a lovely meaty flavour. You can of course cook it in water just like rice instead, and the drain off the excess, but where’s the fun in that?
Broccoli and salmon quinoa salad
Another versatile hot-weather, cold-weather dish, I ate this salad hot when it was just prepared, but it was just as good the next day cold.
500ml chicken stock
6 spring onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
100g mange tout, chopped into roughly square pieces
1 salmon fillet, cooked and flaked
1. Put the quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the germ starts to separate (it should resemble cous cous at this point, but with little curly strands which have separated out into the mix), and the stock is almost all absorbed. If the stock is absorbed before the germ separates out, add a little more water.
2. When the quinoa is just about ready add the chopped broccoli and mange tout to the saucepan and stir well. Leave to cook for a minute and once all the stock has been absorbed add the spring onions and flaked salmon. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.