Last week I made Freekeh and didn’t know how to pronounce it. So this week I thought I would try another grain with a weird name – QUINOA.
Okay. How do you say this correctly?
Here’s my question. Is Freekeh the new Quinoa or vice versa. Either way, using cool grains in salads is something that I love to do.
This is another fabulous dish from yes, you guessed it, one of my favourite books from DK Publishing’s – Cook, Healthy and Quick. I’m still working my way through it and each and every recipe is fool proof and totally delicious. Do you think I’m a tad obsessed with this book?
Well. Ya. I am. But really? It could be a lot worse right?
Now. I was a bit on the fence with using fennel in this recipe. Fennel is very aromatic and it’s taste is unique. Here’s where I thought I would have an issue with fennel. It tastes like licorice and to be quite honest, I HATE LICORICE. Like seriosuly hate it. Wait. Not all licorice. I could eat an entire bag of red licorice (in fact, I have done so at a movie once or was it twice?). It’s the black licorice that tastes kinda gross to me. I’m not even that crazy about the smell (YA… I smell my food before I eat it, an annoying habit, but I do. It’s an absolute wonder I found someone to marry me again). So, when it came to adding fennel to this salad, I thought I would turn up my nose, but truth be told…….it was really, really tasty. Not only is fennel a great addition to recipes, it’s also GOOD FOR YOU. Wanna know why? Here, I’ll tell you….
Fennel has unique phytonutrients with antioxidant and health-promoting effects, antioxidant protection and immune support from Vitamin C.
Oh and what about the “fronds”?
Fennel fronds look a lot like dill. They actually taste dilly too. Add em’ in for extra flavour and garnish. They are wispy and so pretty in a dish. See?
In a “fennel nutshell”? It’s a great veggie to boost your immune system and there’s nothing better than that, no matter what time of year it is.
And don’t forget about the Quinoa. It’s considered to be one of the world’s healthiest foods.
All in all, this recipe combines a powerhouse of ingredients that will satisfy any hungry appetite, and I’m positive you will be as fond of fronds as I am.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 whole fennel bulb
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
- 3½ oz (100g) pomegranate seeds
- Rinse the quinoa under cold running water. Drain and place in a large saucepan. Add the stock and cumin and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Then cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Return quinoa to the pan and leave for about 10 minutes, covered to fluff up.
- To prepare the fennel, trim the stalks, root end, and any tough outer pieces from the bulb and reserve the fronds. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise . Then set each half on a cutting board, flat side down, and cut into thin slices lengthwise.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the fennel slices and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once until golden. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Add the lemon juice and remaining oil,season to taste, and mix well to combine.
- Add the onions, cilantro,mint and reserved fennel fronds to the bowl. Then add the quinoa and half the pomegranate seeds. Stir to mix. Place salad on a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining pomegranate seeds. Serve at room temperature or cold.