I had lunch with some of my all-time favourite people today. The sun shone, the food was a delight and the wine flowed freely. It was glorious. The best thing about having foodie friends is that they always bring delicious gifts. Just look at this spread…
One of my contributions to this team feast was grilled vegetable salad with quinoa. It’s great as a side, but because the quinoa is so full of protein it also works great served warm as a main meal. I’ve done this using a cast iron grill pan, but it would be fantastic cooked on the barbecue.
Grilled Vegetable and Quinoa Salad
- 1 aubergine
- 1 courgette
- 1 red pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Handful of fresh basil
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- 250g quinoa (I’ve used a mix of red, white and black)
- Slice the aubergine, courgette and pepper. Lay on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Mince the garlic in a little salt. Place in a mixing bowl with the red onion and some balsamic vinegar. Set aside. The acid in the vinegar will ‘cook’ the onion and garlic and mellow them out a little.
- Heat up a cast iron griddle pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. When the pan is smoking hot, dab the excess moisture from the veg and place in the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, so that the black lines are vivid. You’ll probably need to do this in batches unless you have a giant griddle.
- Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions and then drain. Place in the mixing bowl with the onion and garlic.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the quinoa, along with the basil. I just tear mine, but if you like things nice and neat go ahead and chop it up.
- If you are serving this in a big bowl, gently mix through the grilled veg, drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic and season to taste.
- If you are serving this as a main meal, season the quinoa and place some on a plate and then pile some of the veg on top. Drizzle with oil and balsamic, serve with a green salad and some lovely, crusty bread.