Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Edamame & Broccoli

Considered to be the 'food of the future', this super healthy salad recipe was adapted from the award-winning British health food restaurant Leon, which inspires an almost messianic loyalty among their devoted clientele. Leon's menu, which specifies low-glycemic, wheat or dairy- free foods, features one of their most popular dishes, a Superfood Salad which includes peas, avocado, broccoli, cucumber, quinoa, feta, fresh mint, parsley, toasted seeds and a pot of vinaigrette. This wonderfully delicious and completely addictive recipe, which was adapted from Leon's fabulous salad by Bonnie Stern, captures the essence of the original but with a few more twists, turns and nutty surprises. I will make this salad over and over again — it's just so great.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Edamame & Broccoli with Feta & Nuts
Serves 6-8
Adapted from a recipe from 'Leon' by Bonnie Stern

1 cup Quinoa (red, white, black or a combination)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup shelled frozen edamame
4 oz feta or goat cheese, crumbled into small chunks
2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks at the last minute
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp pomegranate molasses or honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt

1/3 cup olive oil

Place quinoa and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover and cook gently 15 to 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Set aside. Toss the broccoli with a little olive oil and salt, spread on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Pour boiling water over edamame to defrost, rinse in cold water and pat dry.

To serve, layer the quinoa, broccoli and edamame in a large shallow salad bowl. Top with cheese, seeds, almonds, pomegranate seeds, chick peas, avocado and herbs. Whisk the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, salt and olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over the salad. This is delicious served with warm focaccia and glass of chilled Rosé.