This warm quinoa salad was a bit of a ready-steady-cook affair. I’d bought a load of salad stuff for lunch, but then we went out for a walk at Wimpole Hall and had our lunch there. So when I came to make dinner, there was a load of salad ingredients sitting in the fridge and looking at me accusingly.
And I like salad. Only I prefer to have something hot for dinner. But there was all this salad. And it was cold. What a quandary.
Then I remembered a thing I used to make which is a warm salad. (I had a few versions of it, one of which had these sticky mustardy glazed roasted potatoes on it – must dig out that recipe, it was delish!) Basically, all the things that go in a salad, with something hot on top. Sounds weird, works brilliantly. In my opinion, anyway.
So, a forage through the fridge and cupboards, and a dash of inspiration, and this warm quinoa salad with garlic mushrooms was the happy result. I served the three elements separately, so DH and Kipper could assemble their plates to their liking. DH did as he was told – quinoa on the bottom, salad in the middle, garlic mushrooms on the top. Et voila – warm quinoa salad! Kipper ate hers sequentially – initially said she only wanted the quinoa. Then she agreed to taste a mushroom and asked for “eight more.” Finally, and for the first time in her life ever, she ate a sizeable amount of salad leaves. I think it’s because they were red ones. Usually she avoids uncooked foliage like the plague. Hopefully this is the start of something, and not a one off.
This amount served two adults and a small person, although I suspect that DH and I could have eaten the lot between us without any help.
I’ve broken the recipe down to its three components, which I hope makes it clearer, although it does now look like a lot of work, which it really isn’t. Enjoy!
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Warm quinoa salad with garlic mushrooms
For the garlic mushrooms
- 350 g white mushrooms
- 20 g butter or non-dairy spread plus extra for greasing the dish
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
For the quinoa
- 100 g quinoa
- 500 ml water/vegetable stock
For the salad
- 100 g mixed salad leaves
- 5-6 cm cucumber
- 1 romano pepper or use a regular red pepper
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes
- 0.5 avocado
- 2-3 tbsp grated raw beetroot (optional)
For the mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a shallow baking dish.
Quarter the mushrooms and place in the dish. Dot with the butter or non-dairy spread.
Peel and crush the garlic cloves and mix with the olive oil and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms.
Cover with foil, and bake at 200C for 35-40 minutes, stirring halfway. The mushrooms should generate plenty of delicious garlicky liquid.
For the quinoa
Rinse the quinoa well under running water, then place in a pan with the water or stock.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Drain well before serving.
For the salad
Slice the cucumber, pepper and avocado. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Assemble the mixed leaves and other salad ingredients in a bowl.
Put a serving of quinoa on each plate. Top with salad. Spoon the mushrooms over the top and dress with plenty of the delicious mushroom juices.