When I originally posted this pomegranate and quinoa salad recipe I had no idea how popular it would become. I have had no end of positive feedback about how seriously delicious it is. Recently I have modified it slightly to make it even more awesome and the recipe below reflects these changes. I hope you enjoy it.
I love using quinoa, it is one of the most nutritious foods available, and it is high in fiber and low in calories. It also has the most protein of any grain, making it ideal for vegetarians. I adore its nutty taste and slightly crunchy texture. One important thing is how you cook it. Quinoa is so simple to cook but many recipes get it wrong. If you follow my simple quinoa cooking instructions you will have a light and fluffy result every time.
A friend gave me a pearl barley salad recipe ages ago which was lovely but had some flavors that didn’t quite work for me. Over the years I have tweaked it, made a new dressing and converted it to quinoa and it has evolved into one of my favorite healthy salads. Pearl barley is also very healthy, but I prefer quinoa. This meal is a perfect example of how you can eat delicious food that is also visually appealing, nutritious and not fattening.
9 ounces (250g) quinoa
8 ounces (200g) feta
One cup pomegranate seeds
3 ounces (85 g) walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
8 tblsp finely-chopped mint plus extra for garnish
6 tblsp finely-chopped flat leaf parsley plus extra for garnish
8 tblsp finely-chopped spring onion plus extra for garnish
Two tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander (cilantro)
Three tblsp extra virgin olive oil
Two tblsp red wine vinegar
One tblsp honey
Two cloves garlic, crushed
Sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Bring three cups of water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and add to pan, cook for 20-30 minutes or until softened. Drain, cool to room temperature.
Cut the feta into cubes and add to the quinoa with the remaining salad ingredients.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well and pour over the salad. Toss gently. Sprinkle the extra mint, parsley, spring onions and pomegranate seeds on top.
As with all recipes I use the freshest ingredients I can find and organic where possible. In this case I used organic quinoa and the parsley, mint and spring onions were from my herb garden.
- If you haven’t used quinoa before make sure you wash it thoroughly beforehand. I actually recommend soaking it for five minutes, then rinsing. The reason for this is there is a natural coating on the grains, called saponin, which is quite bitter.
- If you’ve never used pomegranates before read my post about how to remove pomegranate seeds so you don’t end up covered in red juice.