Summer time in England is an interesting term used to describe a period of the year which is basically the same as any other time – rainy. During this time, my family like to join the rest of the country in whacking out the old BBQ at the smallest peep of sunshine. In the winter we have roast dinners, and in the summer we have BBQ’s – that’s just how it is. I was tasked with organising the BBQ today, and I naturally took my job very seriously. I delegated tasks – I was to prep all the food, my brother (who is back in the country for all of 24 hours) was to pick up the ingredients on his way though town and to man the BBQ, and my dad was to arrive home just as everything was ready and therefore be made to clean up after me. Excellent planning.
We had chicken skewers, pork and leek sausages, a mixed green salad, a caprese salad with pesto olive oil, and the mother of all quinoa salads. It was all pretty delish even if I do say so myself, especially the quinoa salad. I think it even got my bro’s approval as he commented “this couscous salad is so good”. Almost bro. Its the thought that counts. The chicken skewers were basically the chicken I cook all the time but shoved on a stick – soy sauce, grated garlic and ginger, and a chilli flakes, with the addition of some red pepper thrown on the stick too. The caprese is a classic, and with dad’s basil plant currently looking much bigger than my future, it was an inevitable addition to the table. The quinoa salad was inspired by one I had at a family friend’s the other day, and it’s simply too good not to share. You’re welcome.
Ingredients (makes about 4 portions):
- 150g dried quinoa
- 1 stock cube (I used chicken)
- 1 small red onion
- 100g blanched almonds (I used normal almonds but blanched them myself by boiling them in water for exactly a minute, then draining immeditely before simply squeezing them out of their skins. And accross the kitchen. Be careful kids.)
- 20g corriander (leaves and stems)
- 10g dill (I used dried as didn’t have fresh)
- 100g dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp honey
- Good glug of olive oil
- Juice half a lemon
- 200g pomegranate seeds
- 50ml pomegranate molasses
- Put the quinoa in a pan with the stock cube and add enough water to cover it plus another cm. Leave to simmer away until cooked (about 20 mins) and then put aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, finely slice the red onion and herbs and add them to a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Once the quinoa has cooled, give them a good old mix.