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Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Grilled Veggies

By Chef JERSON FERNANDES
November 30, 2021 13:17 IST
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Chef Jerson Fernandes's healthy, fun, gourmet salad, with quinoa, caramelised walnuts, grilled veggies and a vinaigrette dressing, is a cheerful way to eat lunch.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Novotel Mumbai

Quinoa Salad with Caramelised Walnuts and Grilled Veggies

Serves: 2

Ingredients

For the quinoa salad

  • 200 gm white quinoa
  • 75 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 ml vegetable stock (please see note below)
  • 150 ml orange juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped red onions
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp finely chopped fresh celery
  • Crushed black salt to taste
  • Salt to taste

For the walnut praline

  • 10 walnuts
  • 50-100 gm sugar 

For the vinaigrette dressing

  • 50 ml vinegar
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed black pepper powder to taste 

For the grilled veggies

  • 4 baby potatoes, cut into halves, skin on
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 1 peeled carrot
  • 1 red radish
  • 100 gm ripe mango puree, optional
  • 200 gm mayonnaise
  • Black pepper powder to taste
  • Salt to taste

For the assembly

  • 50 gm ripe mango cubes, optional
  • 100 gm microgreens
  • Sesame-coated lavash, available in most bakeries, gourmet food shops and online

Method

For the quinoa salad

  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. 
    Roast the quinoa until it turns golden brown.
    Add the chopped garlic, onions and celery.
    Saute well.
    Add the vegetable stock, orange juice, salt, pepper and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.
    Once the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is cooked, take off heat and cool.
    Add the lemon juice and the chopped parsley and some of the crushed walnut praline (recipe below) and mix well.
    Keep aside.

For the walnut praline

  • Melt the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat till it browns. 
    Add the walnuts into the sugar mixture and mix so well-coated.
    Place the carmelised walnuts to cool on a wire rack so the excess sugar can drain off.
    Once cool, crush a few of the walnuts using your hands and add it to the salad.
    Reserve the remaining caramelised walnuts for the assembly.

For the vinaigrette dressing

  • In a small bowl combine the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 

For the grilled veggies

  • Slice the carrots, the green and yellow zucchini lengthwise.
    Don't peel the zucchini. 
  • In a frying pan grill the carrots, green and yellow zucchini with the olive oil.
    Season with salt and pepper.
    Drain and keep aside.
    Grill the cherry tomatoes and the baby potatoes.
    Season with salt and pepper.
    Drain and keep aside.
  • Slice the red radish, with the skin on and marinate with salt, pepper and olive oil.
    Keep aside.
  • Combine the mango puree with the mayonnaise in a bowl and keep aside.

For the assembly

  • Pipe the mango mayonnaise, using a piping bag, in a spiral pattern onto a plate (please see pic above).
    Place a layer of the micro-greens next.
    Over it place the quinoa mixture by shaping it into quenelles (large oval spoonfuls).
    Randomly place the baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes and grilled vegetables (try rolling them up like in the pic above).
  • Pour the vinaigrette dressing over the salad and place some caramelised walnuts around the micro-greens.
    Place the sliced radish over the quinoa and randomly scatter the cubed mangoes.
    Garnish by artfully placing a sesame-coated lavash over the salad. 
    Chill the salad for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Note: Each component of this salad requires the addition of salt and black pepper. Take care to not overdo either the salt or the pepper. Similarly add vinaigrette and lemon juice carefully and as per taste or may become too sour.

Liquid broth is available in some gourmet food stores. Or combine 2 vegetable soup cubes or 2 vegetable broth/bouillon cubes or 2 tsp vegetable broth/bouillon powder with 4 cups boiling water. Or make vegetable broth from scratch by boiling 4-5 cups water with 1-2 large roughly chopped carrots, 3 stalks roughly chopped celery with leaves, 2 medium onions chopped in chunks, 5-6 whole black peppercorns, 2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp chopped parsley with stems, 2 laung or cloves, 5 pods garlic, 2 tej patta or bay leaves till vegetables are tender and the water is steeped with the flavour of the vegetables and spices.
Strain and use for the recipe.

Chef Jerson Fernandes is the Executive Chef, Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach.

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Chef JERSON FERNANDES