What could be more perfect to take you from beach (or humid city à la London right about now) to falling leaves than a lovely sun-inspired, yet hearty bowl?
More substantial than a salad, yet not quite full-on comfort food, this Quinoa Greek Salad Bowl has plenty to please everyone.
Oh, and it’s just perfect topped with crumbles of last week’s Rosemary-Baked Almond Cream Cheese.
I’ve been thinking about escapism a lot the last few months. Having spent much of the year not sure that we were going to take a holiday (can you even top two magical Autumn trips in a row to Portland, one of which included getting married?), we decided back in May that we would do something; but that it would be quiet, later in the year, and humble.
This has been a year of decisions, small – and larger, settling in to our lives and working out what exactly that means for us. So it feels right to be taking a little time to ourselves somewhere that will have already said goodbye to the season’s visitors; to wander along dusty roads and hopefully stumble upon an olive grove or two.
So we decided on Greece in September – a place of long-time love, study, and visits for me, and a place never once visited for Dan. It seemed like a pretty great place to celebrate our second wedding anniversary; and in just over a week, we’ll be making our way to Lefkada.
Where we’ll hopefully find something to eat beyond Greek salad sans feta.
But there’s always gin. And lots and lots of lovely mezze!
But on to the recipe. It really is a lovely way to ease into Autumn cooking while the weather makes up its mind about that Indian summer. Here’s why you’re going to love it. It’s
- the best kind of salad, because it has lots of extras;
- easy to make;
- full of great, whole ingredients;
- super filling;
- perfect for lunch boxes and laid back weekend meals; and
- a delicious take on a summer classic.
But how does it taste? Well…
- juicy with tomatoes;
- gently nutty from quinoa;
- crunchy and light with courgette (I’m not a cucumber fan – unless pickled!);
- salty from the olives and tangy almond cheese; and
- beautifully fragrant with herbs.
One of my favourite elements of this bowl is the crunchy roasted chickpeas, which add a little shot of smoky heat. They make such a great addition to pretty much anything you can cook (think croutons for soup, or a bit of crunch for wraps like these tahini tofu cabbage rolls). If you don’t get around to making this bowl in its entirety, make sure to give these a go – they make an excellent bar snack!
I hope you have a lovely weekend – I’ll be trying to find some summer holiday-appropriate attire and brushing up on my Greek phrases…
Kalí sas méra!
- Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 tin chickpeas* (or 100g dried chickpeas, boiled in water)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Rosemary-Baked Almond Cream Cheese, as desired
- 60g quinoa, rinsed
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 3 small (or 1 regular) courgettes
- 1 small red onion
- 10 green olives
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Black pepper
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Stir together in an oven-proof dish the chickpeas, olive oil and seasoning. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden and crisp.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions - this amount should take about 12 minutes.
- Chop the tomatoes, courgettes, onion and olives, and place in a large serving bowl. Stir in the dried oregano, lemon juice and black pepper.
- Once the chickpeas and quinoa are ready, add these to the serving bowl and mix it all together.
- Serve in individual bowls, topping with crumbles of the almond cheese.
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