I can’t believe that summer is basically over! Not that it’s been particularly summery around these parts of late. I have to say though, I don’t hate it. There is still plenty of summery produce around so I’m happily transitioning.
I can’t get enough of courgettes at the moment. We didn’t get around to planting any in the garden this year but luckily one of my work colleagues has a glut of them in his garden and is keeping us in pretty constant supply. They’re so versatile although I must admit my favourite use for them is in chocolate courgette cake…
I first ate a version of this salad in a restaurant and loved it so much I just had to recreate it at home! It is completely plant-based and gluten-free to boot. Personally, I don’t restrict my diet in any specific way but it is always a bonus when something so delicious is also super healthy. I do like to eat as well as I can.
The dressing is made with soaked almonds and tastes creamy and satisfying whilst the salad itself is a medley of lots of textures and flavours and is packed full of protein. This is a great dinner option for those days when you have over-indulged on courgette cake!
The salad is pretty simple to prepare but it just requires a bit of therapeutic chopping and slicing. If you wanted to save time (and avoid the risk of setting your smoke alarm off when griddling…) then you could top with some antipasto from a jar – in fact, artichoke hearts would be delicious! I cook the quinoa according to Sonja and Alex’s tried-and-true method – it works everytime!
Baby Kale Quinoa Salad with Chargrilled Veg
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 big handfuls baby kale leaves
- 6-8 radishes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 small red cabbage
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 small courgettes
- 1 red pepper
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup almonds soaked for at least an hour, preferably 4
- 4-5 tablespoons water
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 cm piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- First cook the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a small heavy based pan with the water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, stir briefly with a fork, then clamp on a lid and reduce the heat. Cook for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Once you have turned the heat off, leave the lid on for 5-10 minutes to allow the quinoa to steam dry. Run a fork through the quinoa and set aside to cool.
- Toss the chickpeas with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa.
- Finely the slice the radishes, red onion and red cabbage (I use a handheld mandoline for ease). Add these to the bowl along with the baby kale.
- Get a griddle pan on to heat. Slice the courgettes and the pepper into thick strips. Drizzle them with oil and rub to coat them evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the griddle pan is nice and hot, place the courgettes and peppers on in batches and griddle on each side until they are softened and are nicely charred, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- To make the dressing, place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. You might need to add more water depending on how thick you like your dressing.
- Toss the salad with the dressing along with a pinch of salt to taste. Serve up onto a platter or individual bowls and top with the chargrilled veggies and some more dressing to drizzle over.
Quinoa method from A Couple Cooks.