Quinoa, Zucchini and Haloumi Salad

This started off being based on a quinoa, zucchini and feta salad featured in my copy of the Women’s Weekly Fast Fresh Vegetarian cookbook (which, by the way, is quite fab, everything I’ve tried out of it so far has been a delicious credit to the WW’s famed three-test kitchen), but quickly mutated as I had haloumi instead of feta, couldn’t be bothered with red onion or roasting hazelnuts, and reverted to my standard ‘oh look just throw in what you have and it will be FINE’ method of food preparation. And luckily I was right! This is a damn fine tasty salad that works as a great side dish, or even a whole dinner if you’re feeling virtuous enough to rely solely on grains and veggies. Just ignore all the fried haloumi.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (or if you want a bit more colour you could go with a mix of those mini heirloom tomatoes. I won’t turn up my nose at some cute yellow tomatoes, no I will not sir)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • good handful of basil leaves, torn
  • as much haloumi as you please (I won’t judge), cut into thin slices, then the slices cut into four pieces each

1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water, and then drain well. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, and then simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is all absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Pop in your intended serving bowl to cool.

2. Slice up the zucchini and carrot into long, thin strips (a mandolin or thin-strip grater is ideal). Halve the tomatoes.

3. In a small frypan, heat some vegetable oil over medium heat and fry the haloumi pieces until they’re lightly golden on both sides. Allow to drain on some paper towel in order to be rid of any excess oil.

4. Pop the vegetables, haloumi and basil in the serving bowl with the quinoa. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and then toss the salad together. Have a taste, and if you think it needs a touch of black pepper and salt, give it a crack and sprinkle. Ready to serve!

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