It’s summer so that means its salad season! Yeah I love salad season, being vegetarian I look forward to all the yummy veggies available. I eat so many salads that if I was to share them all with you this would really be a salad blog and not a baking blog. But this grilled nectarine quinoa salad with wild rocket pesto and goats cheese was just too good not to share.
Decedent and Healthy!
Can such a thing exist? Yes it can, there is very little added fat in here just a little olive oil which is cooked off and a little is used for the wild rocket pesto. And well yes the goats cheese does have fat in it you can add as much or as little as you please. I added quite a lot because I am such a fan of the French cheese.
As I have said before, quinoa is rich in vitamin E, packed full of healthy heart friendly fat like monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid and rich in fibre and so much more. It has a creamy nutty flavour and is a great base for a salad.
To give this salad a real flavour boost so there was no need to add other dressings and help keep the calorie count down, I made a lovely pesto made out of wild rocket. Wild rocket has a lovely fresh peppery taste and I infused it with fresh lime juice, which gives it a lovely fresh zesty flavour, red onion and a little extra virgin olive oil. Blitzed everything together in a blender then stirred it into the cooked quinoa. And to boost the wild rocket flavour even more the salad sits of a bed of it.
To give this salad a little sweetness I added some nectarines and red bell pepper. I popped them in a griddle pan and dry fried them on each side for a couple of minutes to warm them through and give them lovely caramelised stripes.
Warm or Cold
When made this salad is warm but is also wonderful cold, served up in a lunch box the following day.
This salad is large enough for two people as a main course but is also enough for 4 to 6 people as a side salad. So tuck in and enjoy 😀
- 110 grams quinoa - use red or white or a combination, (1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 240 millilitres boiling water, (1 cup)
- 50 grams wild rocket - divided into two, (2 heaped cups)
- ½ medium red onion - finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 fresh limes - one juiced and one cut into wedges
- 2 ripe nectarines - quartered
- ½ red bell pepper cut into thin strips
- goats cheese to taste
- First off we need to get the quinoa on the go. If you are cheating a little (hey we all do) and using ready made quinoa just heat it up. If cooking from scratch give your quinoa a rinse under the tap for about a minute using a fine mesh sieve.
- Boil you kettle. In a medium pan, put your olive oil in and lightly heat over a medium heat. Then lightly fry your quinoa until it's dry. Then add the boiling water to the pan bring it back to the boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the quinoa is simmering, grab half of your wild rocket and pop it in your food blender. Also add in the juice of one of your limes, the chopped red onion and the extra virgin olive oil and blitz until you have a smooth paste. Place to one side once done.
- Take the quinoa off the heat after 15 minutes and allow it to stand in its pan for 5 minutes.
- Cut and quarter you nectarines, and slice your bell pepper into thin strips. Heat a griddle pan or a frying pan if you don't have a griddle pan. Gently lay your nectarines and red peppers in a frying pan heat, turning over once some colour has appeared on your fruit.
- Place the second half of your wild rocket on your serving plate and spread it all over the plate. Cut your second lime into quarters.
- Take the lid off your quinoa and fluff it up with a fork to separate the grains. Stir in your pesto till all the quinoa is well covered, pour the quinoa over the bed of wild rocket.
- After turning the nectarines and peppers over place them on top of the quinoa and crumble goats cheese over the top, place a quarter of lime in each corner of the plate and serve.
- If you wish to keep some of this for later keep it in tupperware in the fridge but eat by the third day.