I often think of summer as an opportunity to detox from the lack of nurturing I practiced over the colder months. My sensibilities take a major yet natural shift as I employ mindfulness to my eating and exercise habits in preparation for summer life of enjoying the great outdoors in more revealing clothing as opposed to the fleece and sweat clothes that protect me from the harsh weather.
I naturally crave salad, but my usual recipe, although it’s delicious can get a bit repetitive. That’s why discovering new salad concepts is so important. While watermelon, radishes, quinoa and feta cheese may not sound like a tasty combination, you’ll be surprised how the flavors complement each other and make for a super nutritious and refreshing summer salad. Packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, you may want to put this on regular rotation while watermelon is in season.
- 1 ¼ cups regular, black, or red quinoa
- 4 scallions
- 4 oz. roasted peeled red peppers in brine
- 1 slice of whole-grain bread
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco chipotle sauce (to taste)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large orange (juiced)
- 1 ½ oz blanched hazelnuts
- 1 small red onion
- 3 ½ oz radishes
- 1 fresh red chile
- 2 limes
- ½ a bunch of fresh mint (1/2 oz)
- 2 small red or green endive
- 26 ½-oz chunk of watermelon
- 3 oz feta cheese
- Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions, removing from the heat 2 minutes early (this is to give you a beautiful texture when you dress it later).
- While it cooks, cut off the green parts of the scallions and place it in a blender with the peppers, bread, chipotle Tabasco, 1 tablespoon of oil, and the orange juice.
- Blitz until super-smooth, then season to perfection to make a dressing.
- Once the quinoa is ready, drain it well, then, while still steaming hot, toss with the dressing.
- Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan, tossing for 4 minutes, or until golden, then smash up in a pestle and mortar and, in a large serving bowl or on a big beautiful platter, fold through the quinoa.
- Peel the onion, then very finely slice with the radishes and chile, ideally on mandolin (use the guard!).
- Finely grate all the lime zest over the veg and squeeze over the juice, then mix together with your hands.
- Pick and tear over the mint leaves, reserving the pretty baby leaves for garnish.
- Trim and finely slice the endive and the whites of the scallions and scatter over the quinoa.
- Peel and finely slice the watermelon and arrange on top of the salad.
- Sprinkle over the lime-dressed veg and reserved mint, then grate over the feta in long strokes.
- Keep it pretty or toss together before tucking in.
- Also nice served with a little cured meat, such as prosciutto.
Source: Everyday Food by Jamie Oliver