2 heaped tablespoons low-fat plain Greek-style yoghurt
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 small handfuls of mint leaves
2 pinches of ground cumin
3⁄4 cup (150 g) quinoa
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed and cut into 3 cm lengths
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 3 cm lengths
1 bulb baby fennel
1 tablespoon salted baby capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 small handful of dill, chopped
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 Place the yoghurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Finely chop half the mint leaves and mix into the yoghurt. Sprinkle with a pinch of cumin, then cover with plastic film and place in the fridge until needed.
2 Toast the quinoa in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups (500 ml) water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and hold at a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to absorb any remaining liquid. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and place in the fridge, uncovered, for about 10 minutes to cool.
3 Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the broccolini and asparagus for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside until needed.
4 Use a sharp knife to remove the stalks from the fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds and discard the stalks. Cut the fennel in half lengthways, then slice into thin strips and place in a bowl of iced water to keep it fresh and crisp. (You could also use a mandoline, or a vegetable peeler to peel long strips.)
5 Remove the cooled quinoa from the fridge. Add the broccolini, asparagus, fennel, capers, dill, lemon zest and juice, remaining mint leaves and pinch of cumin, reserved fennel fronds and a good drizzle of olive oil. Mix carefully so you don’t bruise the herbs and then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve the quinoa salad with a dollop of the mint and cumin yoghurt on top.
The Carousel thanks The Chef Gets Healthy by Tobie and Georgia Puttock for this recipe. Buy your copy here.