Unlike a lot of home cooks, I don’t have a particularly large collection of cookbooks. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my little kitchen library and over the years it’s given me a lot of inspiration. But these days I get more ideas from social media than I ever. I guess apps like Instagram and Pinterest have democratised recipe sharing like never before. For me it can only be seen as a good thing – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be writing this blog!
That being said there are times when nostalgia or comfort take me back to those old hardback friends. Over the years there’s been a lot of meals created from among their pages. So now when I have a bit of an idea of what I want to eat I have a pretty good idea where to look. Take this Salmon & Quinoa Salad, for example. When I was in the mood for a healthy and filling, yet lighter, meal I went straight for my copy of Leon: Ingredients & Recipes.
If you don’t know Leon then you’ve probably not spent all that much time in London. I know they have a few more outposts around the country now, but for many years you would only seem them in the capital. They market themselves as selling “naturally fast food”. In other words, the perfect place to go when you want something filling without feeling guilty about it afterwards.
One of my favourite things on their menu (at least it used to be) is called the Superfood Salad. Like this recipe it’s based around a dressed quinoa salad, with some big chunky bits of vegetable. You can get it topped with salmon or chicken, if the salad alone isn’t quite enough for you. When having it as a main meal I think the addition of that protein is essential.
There are many similarities with the Leon recipe here and I accept that. I’ve still got the quinoa, broccoli, tomato and rocket leaves but from there we start to diverge. My dressing is based around fresh pomegranate juice and seeds, with a bit of sharpness from lemon and freshness from mint. I also like to add a generous dollop of Creamy Salad Dressing too. This might look like I’m dressing the salad twice, but here it works really well. The coolness of the dressing against the warm fish really does add flavour and pleasure, rather than being there just for the sake of it.
As I’ve said before, I love to play around with the food I cook – especially tweaking old recipes to make them feel new. This salad is something I know that I’ll be making again and again in the coming years. I hope you try it and fall in love with it too.
Salmon & Quinoa Salad
For the Quinoa
- 100 g Quinoa
- 300 ml Vegetable Stock
For the Salad Dressing
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Lemon juice
- ½ Pomegranate seeds and juice
- 10 Mint Leaves finely chopped
- 2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Salmon
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Salmon Fillets approx 120g each
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
For the Salad
- 75 g Baby Tomatoes halved
- 50 g Rocket
- 100 g Broccoli blanched
- 100 g Soya Beans blanched
- 2 tbsp Quick Creamy Salad Dressing see notes
Cook the Quinoa
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in cold water.
- Pour the stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa and reduce to a simmer, then cook for 20 minutes. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Put to one side to cool – any remaining liquid should be absorbed as the quinoa cools.
Make the Dressing
- Put the olive oil, lemon juice and pomegranate juice into a bowl. Mix together until starting to emulsify, then add the pomegranate seeds, mint leaves and seasonings. Stir until well combined then put to one side until needed.
Cook the Salmon
- Heat the Olive Oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
- Cut the salmon fillets in half lengthways, to create four thinner fillets overall.
- Season with the smoked paprika, then carefully place into the frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
Prepare the Salad
- Put the cooled quinoa into a large bowl. Pour over half of the dressing and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, rocket, broccoli and soya beans, then mix well, adding the remaining dressing as you go.
- Divide the salad between two bowls and top with the cooked salmon fillets. Drizzle over the creamy salad dressing, to taste.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||4||g|
|of which Sugars||7||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|