Aromatic, salty and summery: courgette, olives, mint and feta is one of my favourite combinations.
Here it is mingled with quinoa for a healthy weekday lunch. I’ve labelled this as dairy free and vegan as it’s no hassle to leave the feta out for those who are completely plant based.
Ingredients – serves 4
2 large white onions
Oil for frying (I use 1 teaspoon of olive oil)
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
1-2 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp tahini (optional)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 red onions
200g feta (optional)
- Dice the onions and fry with a splash of oil. Add the garlic and chilli if using.
- When the onions turn a golden brown, add the courgettes and cook for a couple of minutes whilst you rinse the quinoa in a sieve to remove any bitterness from the grains’ coating.
- Shake the quinoa to remove as much water as possible then tip into the onions and courgettes and stir well.
- Sprinkle in some salt, apple cider vinegar, tahini and lemon zest and juice and stir for a couple of minutes to stop it catching. This ‘dry frying’ and adding your flavourings before boiling is important as it will make all the difference to your quinoa which will absorb these enhancements as it cooks.
- Cook quinoa like you would for a risotto: i.e. adding water in bit by bit as it needs it. Quinoa tends to need between 1.5-2 times as much water, so if you don’t want to hover nearby whilst its cooking, add 300-400ml of water initially, give it a good stir and bring to the boil.
- Quinoa takes around 15 minutes to cook. It’s done when the majority of the grains open up, revealing the spiral kernel. Make sure all the water is absorbed by boiling vigorously towards the end of the cooking time if necessary.
- When the quinoa is cooked, stir in the remaining ingredients – finely diced red onion, olives, mint and cubed feta if using.
A fresh, apple-fruited summery white such as Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Limoux suits this dish perfectly