Bright and Cheery Strawberry & Goat’s Cheese Salad with Toasted Almonds and Quinoa
Have you noticed the gorgeous berries arriving in droves at your favourite fruit and veggie grocers? Most types of berries are currently well priced – usually a good indication that they are in season.
Berries are often associated with dessert rather than savoury dishes. To help us all round out our recipe repertoire and utilise these fabulous seasonal berries- I thought I would provide some savoury inspiration.
Inspired by @cookieandkate, this little number is great as a side dish or as a meal on it’s own. It has notes of sweet, savoury, toasted and zingy. If you prefer, you can make this dish your own by substituting quinoa for any grain you like. Pearl barley and wild rice work really well.
Same goes for the nuts – toasted cashews, pecans or pine nuts are absolutely delicious.
And the best thing about this dish? The berries really pop on the plate and make this a very pretty dish to serve! As you all know from my last blog entry, I am super passionate about making food look amazing and scrumptious on a plate! Nutritional bonus- humans are able to digest and access the iron in spinach more effectively when eaten in combination with Vitamin C loaded berries!
What you need:
2 ½ cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup of thickly sliced strawberries
50g goats cheese, crumbled
Handful of slivered almonds
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup of stock or water for cooking quinoa
Zesty Dressing (as seen in our Crunchy Brussel Sprouts Salad recipe)
Knob of ginger – finely grated
Clove of garlic – finely grated or finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the quinoa under running water and strain. Combine the quinoa and stock/water in the saucepan and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, then cook uncovered until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. The cooking time will vary based on quantity. Once the water is all absorbed, remove the pot from heat, cover it and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes.
Make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Toast the almonds by placing them in a small pan over medium heat until they start turning golden (about 5 minutes).
In a bowl, combine the spinach, sliced strawberries, warm quinoa and toasted almonds. Crumble goat cheese over the salad. Drizzle enough dressing to lightly coat the spinach (or to you preferred taste) and toss.