Recipe: Watermelon & Berry Quinoa Salad



This really is a salad that bursts with different flavours and textures. Crunchy gem lettuce leaves form the leafy green base. Lightly steamed broccoli gives an extra serving of green goodness. Watermelon provides sweetness and bite, while the berries give sweetness with a soft texture. Creamy avocado provides healthy fats and quinoa gives a decent serving of protein. All of this is topped with toasted walnuts for crunch and of course some extra healthy fats and protein. The dressing is a basic dressing with hints of honey and mustard.

I love how colourful this salad looks on the plate and it's sure to brighten up any meal. I eat this as a meal in itself, but I it's also the perfect accompaniment to a barbecue; I'm reliably informed by some meat eating friends that it offers a refreshing contrast to smokey barbecued meat.

Serves 4-8 (serves 4 when served as a light lunch or supper and 8 when served as a side dish).

Ingredients

1 medium head of broccoli, cut into small florets

¼ whole watermelon, sliced into cubes

½ cup blueberries

½ cup raspberries

2 ripe avocados

1 head of baby gem lettuce

½ cup quinoa

Juice of half a lemon

½ cup walnuts

For the dressing:

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 tbsp water

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of sea salt

Method

Start with the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well with cold water. Place the quinoa in a medium sized saucepan with 1 cup of boiling water and the juice of half a lemon. Allow the quinoa to boil for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is fluffy. Set to one side and allow to cool slightly.

Prepare the broccoli by steaming it for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to one side.

To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a jar, put the lid on and shake well. Set to one side.

Heat the oven to gas 5/190C. Prepare the walnuts by roughly chopping them and placing them on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the walnuts in the oven for 10 minutes, tossing them half way through. Once toasted, remove from the oven and set to one side.

In a bowl, mix the quinoa, broccoli and watermelon with half the dressing. There is no need to wait until the quinoa has cooled fully to do this.

To assemble the salad, wash and dry the lettuce leaves and place them around the base of your serving dish. Spoon the quinoa, broccoli and watermelon mix over the lettuce. Top with the blueberries, raspberries and sliced avocado. Dollop a little of the remaining dressing and sprinkle the toasted walnuts on top. Serve the remaining dressing in a bowl on the side.


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