dirt(y) royal baby blue lentils, zucchini, haloumi, tomato and healthy grain salad
Recipe by Simon Bryant
serves 4 as a starter
½ cup dirt(y) royal baby blue lentils *
¼ cup quinoa seeds (not flakes)
¼ cup amaranth** (optional)
8 zucchini or nasturtium flowers (optional)
1 each green and yellow zucchini, cut into long strips or ‘ribbons’ (use a mandolin for ease)
2 cups assorted heirloom tomatoes, chopped any old how
½ bunch parsley, randomly picked and chopped
½ bunch basil
2 lemons, zested and juiced
250 g haloumi cheese
120 ml extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes and cracked pepper
** amaranth is available at health food stores or in the health food aisle good supermarkets
Soak the quinoa for 30 mins then rinse well until the water runs clear. Place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins. Remove lid and simmer a further 5 mins. Remove from heat and leave for 5 mins or until most of the water has been absorbed. Drain, season and set aside.
Pop the baby blue lentils into a saucepan and cover with 5 times their volume of cold water and simmer until al dente (approx. 12 – 15 mins).
Heat up a grill plate or heavy pan, grill the haloumi on both sides till ‘smokey’ and coloured. Remove and rip into bite size pieces when cool.
Lightly oil and season the zucchini strips, then grill until coloured.
Use remaining olive oil to prepare a dressing by adding lemon juice and a big pinch of salt and cracked pepper.
If using amaranth, pre-heat a large heavy based pan over medium to high heat for a few minutes. Chuck the amaranth in to ‘roast’ with lid on and shake vigorously (so it doesn’t burn) for a couple of minutes as it pops. It’s a popper (like popcorn) so don’t take the lid off. Remove from heat and tip into a bowl when it has all popped and doubled in size.
Get the lentils and quinoa on a plate, dress with half the dressing, top with zucchini ribbons, tomato and halloumi. If using, separate a few random petals of zucchini or nasturtium flowers and scatter over. Drizzle remaining dressing, sprinkle with popped amaranth, more salt flakes, pepper, parsley, basil and lemon zest.