The salad consists of my new favourite superfood, quinoa, cooled and mixed with a dressing of avocado, yogurt, water, garlic and basil (my substitute for coriander as it had survived not being watered for a week while we were on holiday, while the woosy coriander carked it). This is topped with grilled courgette, hard boiled egg, and some cheese - Heidi said goat's, but I used gruyere as I'd just picked some up in the supermarket. She also added pine nuts but I don't like them. I'm sure that my changes removed some pleasing crunch and creaminess, but it was very nice nonetheless. I always like a good range of textures in a salad, and this one absolutely delivered. The dressing wasn't too obtrusive but added creaminess and richness to the quinoa. The egg yolks were still slightly soft which was really nice - I followed Heidi's directions on timing them exactly, and mean to adopt it for all future hard boiling occasions as it was so successful. I grilled the courgette in the George Foreman, and it was the only hot part of the dish - another nice contrast. I might try it again with grilled aubergine for a Scientist-friendly version. So, the courgette pizza's still on the to-make list - but there's a good few Wednesdays left in the cricket season yet...
Quinoa and grilled courgette salad (From 101 Cookbooks)
1 large avocado, ripe
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro [I used basil]
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 large eggs
1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
2 cups quinoa, cooked, room temperature
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted [I omitted these]
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled [I used gruyere]
a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish
Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (or us a hand blender). Set aside.
Hard boil the three eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.
While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters. [I just grilled them in the Foreman]
Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish.
Serves 4 to 6.