A quick and beautiful light salad with great flavors. I really have not been cooking much from the book Plenty by Ottolenghi which I had acquired with great enthusiasm about a year ago, just last week I was thinking that I really need to get more use out of this book… while hungary this afternoon and wanting to eat healthy and simultaneously thinking I need to try out all that Quinoa and other whole grains I ordered a few months ago and still had not even cracked open the packets, I thought Plenty would give me some options for sure, so I took a quick look and found this little number mainly cause I had most of the ingredients at home to make this quinoa salad.
The original recipe uses fava beans, but I had way too many snow peas in my fridge so decided to use them instead. I did a quick cook stir fry with them with half a teaspoon oil and a bit of salt and pepper, making sure I still kept some crunch and got some charring marks. For the chilli in this salad, I used a beautiful new chili I discovered recently thanks to my sister-in-law as we went walkabout around Boston and she took me to a great Armenian grocery store in Cambridge. I got some gorgeous dark smokey Urfa Chilli from Turkey and was dying to try it out. I used it for the first time in this recipe instead of normal chili flakes. Beautiful it was! I highly recommend adding it too your spice collection, thanks Hil for bringing it to my world!
The recipe does call for lemon segments, which maybe a bit to tangy for some. I would break the lemon segments into smaller bits next time, because you suddenly can get a big mouthful of zingy sourness. It’s really nice with a bit of avocado but a bit too much for me at times. Or you could just squeeze the juice of the lemon and mix in the salad. I have to say I also added a few drops of soy sauce to the salad and really made it pop. Mix it with your lemon juice, and it is just amazing.
1 cup quinoa
500 grams or 1 lb. (3 cups) shelled fava beans (fresh or frozen)
2 medium lemons
2 small ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bunches breakfast radishes, halved lengthways
1 cup purple radish cress (or small purple basil leaves)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce (my recommendation)
Step 1: Place the quinoa in a saucepan with plenty of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 9 minutes.
Step 2: Drain in a fine sieve, rinse under cold water and leave to dry.
Step 3: Throw the fava beans into a pan of boiling water, bring back to a boil and immediately drain in a colander. Refresh with cold water and leave to dry. Then gently press each bean with your fingers to remove the skins; discard these. Take the lemons and use a small sharp knife to slice off the top and base. Stand each one on a chopping board and cut down the sides, following the natural curve, to remove the skin and white pith. Over a large mixing bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the individual segments into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membrane into the bowl with the segments.
Step 4: Peel and stone the avocados. Slice thinly, then add to the bowl and toss to cover in the lemon juice.
Step 5: Once the quinoa is dry, transfer it to the bowl. Add the fava beans, garlic, radishes, half the radish cress, the cumin, olive oil, chili flakes and some salt and pepper.
Step 6: Toss very gently, without breaking the avocado. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you wish. Plate and garnish with the remaining cress.