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Cypriot Quinoa Salad

by Annalisa Brown (follow)
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Continuing with my 60-Day Challenge and subsequent introduction to the very delicious Green Leaf Smoothie, I decided to follow up with a salad that has not a skerrick of green leaf in it (other than a little parsley and coriander).

George Calombaris and his restaurant Hellenic Republic turned this Cypriot Grain Salad into a delicious signature dish. Many people have populated his recipe online, however this recipe is an adaptation using Quinoa as the star ingredient.

The Salad is light, refreshing and bursting with flavours. With each forkful, you taste the nuttiness, citrus, sweet and saltiness swirling in your mouth. A salad that can be enjoyed by everyone not only those on 60-Day Challenges!

Cypriot Quinoa Salad - super healthy and delicious.

Preparation Time: 30-minutes
Cooking Time: 15-minutes
Makes: 4-6 entrée servings or side dish

1 ½ Cups Cooked Tri Colour Quinoa
½ Cup Cooked Green Lentils
¼ Bunch Continental Parsley
½ Bunch Coriander
2 Tablespoons Slivered Raw Almonds
2 Tablespoons Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
2 Tablespoons Baby Capers
½ Cup Raisons
Black Pepper, Lemon Juice and Olive Oil to season.
Pomegranate Seeds to Garnish
Unsweetened Greek Yoghurt to Garnish (optional)

Half a cup of uncooked Quinoa will yield approximately 1 ½ - 2 cups of cooked Quinoa. Similarly, lentils will expand when cooked, therefore ¼ of a cup of lentils will provide you with one cup of cooked lentils.

Place ½ Cup of uncooked Quinoa into a saucepan containing 1 ½ cups of water.

Bring water to the boil then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Take the saucepan off the heat and allow the Quinoa to rest for 10 minutes (similar to cous cous).

Cook the Quinoa like you would Cous Cous, bringing water to the boil and simmering until the liquid has been absorbed.

Fluff the Quinoa and transfer into a large bowl.

When all the liquid has been absorbed, allow the Quinoa to rest then fluff the grains.

While the Quinoa is cooking, soak ¼ Cup of uncooked Lentils in hot water for 10 minutes.

Soak the Lentils before bringing to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Place the soaked Lentils into a saucepan containing 1 cup of water.

Bring water to the boil then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 5 minutes being careful not to overcook the lentils and rendering them mushy.

Allow to cool then add the lentils to the Quinoa.

Finely chop the parsley and coriander and add to the Quinoa.

The only greens in this salad are parsley and coriander.

In a small frying pan, dry fry the pine nuts, slivered almonds and pepitas until they start to turn a light golden colour. Set aside to cool and add to the Quinoa.

Toast the nuts until they start to turn a very light golden brown.

Add the capers and currants, lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil to season and mix thoroughly.

Add all salad ingredients and mix, seasoning with a little lemon juice, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

Garnish with Pomegranate Seeds. To take the salad to another level add a dollop of unsweetened Greek Yoghurt.

Cypriot Quinoa Salad served with BBQ Salmon.

#Gluten Free
#Dairy Free
#Sugar Free
#Make Ahead
#Clean Eating
#Picnic Food
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