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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Grilled Pineapple, Lime and Chilli Quinoa Salad


I’ve had a pineapple sitting in the kitchen for a while now, don’t worry not too long it’s only just ripe. The pineapple originally was for a recipe that I just cannot for the life of me get right, it tastes amazing like addictively amazing but it always looks completely horrible so I figured I should take a step back for a few weeks and tackle it again some other time, it will be revisited though and it’ll definitely be worth the wait.

I was looking through last year’s diary writing down all the ideas I ended up skipping because they weren’t fully formed or I wasn’t in the mood to make so I could have them all in one place and came across spiced pineapple salad, yep, not fully formed, I get easily distracted. Anyway, I’ve been on a bit of a chilli kick recently, got a lot of those in the fridge too also involving another recipe I won’t be posting yet because I might look a little bit obsessed with chocolate cookies which side note: I kind of am.

Anyway back to chillies; I don’t dislike spicy food, I just sometimes don’t see the point in it but ever since I went to Devon and pretty much everything vegetarian I picked up involved chillies, especially this chickpea roll from some nice lady in a little market in Dartmouth, this market basically sold honey, meat, rugs, pastries and fish, I have had dreams about it ever since and definitely need to try and re-create it, but I’ve kind of been converted to adding a little spice to my food so there is no better time to make a “spiced pineapple salad”.

With the time change, lighter evenings and the random bouts of sun in England my brain has definitely been tricked into thinking it feels like spring outside so I’ve already started craving green leaves and all things salad related. I seriously love a good quinoa salad, I feel like I make more quinoa salads than I do other mains but that’s probably not true, I probably just think about quinoa salads more than anything else.

This quinoa salad is sweet and spicy and tangy and I’m not sure what more you could ask for. The pineapple was the perfect ripeness it almost didn’t make it in the salad because I was picking at it while I was shooting, although that would have been a pretty sad pineapple salad minus the pineapple. I refrained and finally grilled it which just made it even more delicious and add the tangy lime and spicy chilli dressing on top while still hot and I could probably just eat a bowl of the pineapple on it's own as dessert. Dessert-like elements in salad can't really be a negative.

You will need
85g/½ cup quinoa
240ml/1 cup water
1 red chilli
zest and juice of 1 lime + wedges for serving
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g/⅔ cup edamame beans
2 spring onions, sliced
a few handfuls of spinach, watercress & rocket or anything similar
2-4 slices of fresh pineapple
½ pomegranate

Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan, simmer until all the water has absorbed, put the lid on and set aside to fluff up and cool.
For the dressing, de-seed and finely chop the chilli and add to a small dish with the lime juice, zest and olive oil and mix.
Once the quinoa has cooled mix in the edamame beans, spring onions and ¾ of the dressing then season with salt and pepper. Mix the quinoa and leaves together and place in a bowl.
Heat a griddle pan on a medium heat and place the pineapple slices on, cook for a few minutes on each side until heated through. Place the pineapple on top of the quinoa salad pour the rest of the dressing on the pineapple and top with pomegranate seeds and serve with lime wedges. You can serve the pineapple hot or cold.

Serves 2

Side note: if you want some extra protein try adding pistachios or sunflower seeds.

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