Adding freshly chopped lime or lemon flesh to a salad will be a revelation to those who haven’t tried it before. Against the mild and nutty quinoa, it makes a simple salad sing. This is a small meal in its own right but can be fortified further by adding nigella or pumpkin seeds, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and ovendried tomatoes.
Quinoa And Fennel Salad
- 5 tbsp/75 ml olive oil
- 3 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1½ lb/700 g)
- 1 tbsp superfine sugar
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- scant 1 cup/150 g quinoa
- 2¾ cups/ 300 g fresh or frozen shelled fava beans, blanched and skins removed
- 1 green chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- scant 1 cup/25 g mint leaves, chopped
- 1 2/3 cups/25 g cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 2/3 cups/25 g dill leaves, chopped
- 4½ tbsp/40 g dried currants
- 3 limes
- salt and black pepper
1. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large sauté pan, place over high heat, add the fennel, and sear for 5 minutes, stirring once, to get some color. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is completely soft and golden. Add the sugar, vinegar, and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Pour the quinoa into a pot of boiling water and cook for 9 minutes. Drain into a fine sieve and refresh under cold water. Shake well to dry and then add to the fennel along with the fava beans, chile, cumin, herbs, currants, ½ teaspoon salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Stir gently and set aside.
3. Using a small, sharp serrated knife, slice off the top and tail of each lime. Cut down the sides of each lime, following its natural line, to remove the skin and white pith. Over a small bowl, remove the segments from the limes by slicing between the membranes. Squeeze out any remaining juice from the membranes over the segments and discard the rest. Cut each segment into thirds and add them, along with the juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, to the salad. Give everything a final stir and serve.