I thought that I would try to experiment with something a little different at the cafe this week, and was scratching my head as to what to do with some impulse-bought quinoa. I had a look at some recipes online, but nothing really inspired me, so I thought I would try making it into a Moroccan salad. I was very pleased with the results – the nuttiness of the quinoa worked really well with the subtle blend of spices, and anything with aubergines in it is ok by me!
2 large aubergines, cut into 2 cm dice
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and finely diced
5 tbs olive oil
500g quinoa, rinsed
400ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon
1 tbs Ras-El-Hanout
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
A pinch of saffron threads
Juice from 1 lemon
A small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to season
1. Put the aubergine cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle generously with salt to coat, and leave to bring out the juices for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put the quinoa and stock in a large saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until the grains begin to open.
3. Rinse the aubergine thoroughly then add with the onion and garlic to a large saucepan with the oil and gently saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add the peppers, and all the spices, stir well and saute covered for a further 10 minutes.
5. Add the cooked quinoa, stir well and take off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season to taste.
6. Serve immediately with fresh bread and a green salad.