Shaun Rankin's vibrant quinoa salad recipe is bursting with Middle Eastern flavours, with sesame, pomegranate and saffron adding another dimension to the nutty flavour of the grain. Cooking the fennel in a water bath with a little orange juice provides wonderful, tender texture as well as infusing the bulb with a zesty hit of citrus.
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Preheat a water bath to 85°C
Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through but retains a bit of bite. Remove from the heat and leave to cool
100g of quinoa
500ml of vegetable stock
Meanwhile, prepare the fennel. Place the fennel pieces in a vacuum bag and add the orange juice and saffron. Seal the bag and place in the preheated water bath for 20 minutes
1 fennel bulb, cut into quarters
50ml of orange juice
1 pinch of saffron
Place a frying pan over a high heat, then remove the cooked fennel from the bag and add to the hot pan. Sear the fennel until coloured on all sides, then remove from the heat and mix together with the cooked quinoa. Stir through the pomegranate seeds, toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander and mix together until combined
2 tbsp of pomegranate seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and lemon vinegar to make a lemon dressing. Stir a little into the quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Check the quinoa salad for taste, seasoning and adding more dressing to taste if required
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of lemon vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Place the frying pan over a low heat and add the pine nuts, toasting gently until evenly coloured. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt and toss rigorously in the pan to combine. Tip the toasted pine nuts onto a small plate to cool slightly before adding to the salad
2 tsp pine nuts
1 pinch of salt
To serve, divide the fennel and quinoa salad between serving plates, topping each portion with a sprinkling of the toasted pine nuts. Arrange the orange segments on top of the salad and garnish with the nasturtium leaves and coriander cress. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over to finish
6 orange segments
50ml of olive oil
1 tbsp of tahini
20ml of lemon juice
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