Here, in Atlanta, summer is quickly approaching with its bright, long days, and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits are available now to enjoy. Katie Quinn Davies’ second cookbook, What Katie Ate on the weekend (US version), couldn’t come at a better time, fully packed with refreshing and decadent recipes. As expected, her second cookbook is a natural progression from the first one, equally in terms of design, and tempting, easy to make, recipes. This time, oriented to weekend eating, Katie integrates more stories along side the multitude of lifestyle photos and recipes. Thus, the book becomes a natural extension of her blog. I really enjoyed the breaks in between recipes with the long full spreads of extremely tempting foods, making me as a reader, to delve more into an experience, rather than just reading a cookbook.
It was hard for me to decide what will be the first recipe to test, but this quinoa salad seemed to have them all. It’s a great, flavorful and quick recipe to make and re-make. It’s sweet, spicy, sour, fresh and textured! This is most definitively a great option to prepare on a weekend and serve at a picnic or as casual dinner starter or side dish. I really loved the punch of cinnamon and lemon that infused the salad with an unexpected fruity flavor. Katie’s second cookbook is truly impressive and tempts to relaxing gatherings where to simply enjoy great food!
Quinoa and Grape Salad (recipe by Katie Quinn Davies)
Ingredients (makes 6 servings as a side):
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed (I used red, black and white quinoa)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 x 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small red onion, very finely diced
1 long green chile, seeded and very finely diced
1 large handful mint, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish (I used parsley instead)
2 cups black champagne grapes or 2 cups black or red seedless grapes, halved or left whole
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 handful baby spinach leaves
1. Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon and stir for 10 seconds. Add the chickpeas, season to taste and stir to coat, then cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are golden brown and a little crisp – take care as they can split a little in the oil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. Combine the cooled quinoa and chickpeas in a large bowl, then add the onion, chile, mint, grapes, cranberries and almonds and stir through.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest, then add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt, then pour over the salad and toss to coat.
5. Season and serve with baby spinach and extra mint leaves scattered on top.
Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Katie Quinn Davies, 2015.