Crushed Tomato and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a seed, not a grain, that has become very popular in the last five years. It’s an excellent source of fibre and protein and has a wonderful nutty flavour. Here I use it in a fabulous fresh salad that is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those who are gluten intolerant. I love this salad because the addition of black beans makes it extra hearty, so it can be served as a main meal. This is a really flexible recipe; add what you like to make it your own.

15 minutes to prep
30 minutes to cook
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 200 g quinoa
  • 1 x 440g can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 100 g feta, crumbled
  • 1 large handful of mint, leaves torn

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 110 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, diced

Method

  1. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients and allow to sit for 10 minutes for the onions to soften.
  2. Have a bowl of chilled water on standby. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Cut a cross in the base of each tomato, then blanch them for 10 seconds. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and chill immediately in the iced water. Reserve the cooking water. Remove the tomatoes from the chilled water and peel off the loosened skins. Cut each tomato into quarters and discard the seeds. Roughly dice the tomatoes so they are almost crushed and add them to the dressing.
  3. Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve two or three times. Place the quinoa in a saucepan, pour in 375 ml of the reserved cooking water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork to separate the seeds.
  4. Add the quinoa to the dressing, along with the beans, feta and mint. Toss really well before serving.

Notes

  • Sumac is a berry from a wild bush that is dried and then crushed into a deep red powder. It has a tangy, sweet flavour and is used in a lot of Middle Eastern cooking. You can find sumac at most supermarkets these but if you can’t a great substitute is lemon zest.