Salmon quinoa salad

Last year I started adding quinoa more and more into my eating habits. It’s an excellent alternative to pasta or rice, and works perfectly in salads, so to my taste cold is when this grain is at its best. One day out of boredom I came up with the recipe I’m featuring in this post. I’m sure I didn’t invent anything new and this combination of flavours already existed, but I did not look for any inspiration prior to making this salad. I basically used what I had available at home that day.

This quinoa salad is basically a three-ingredient recipe, if we don’t count the spices or the butter. It features quinoa, salmon and basil. While salmon can be frozen, basil needs to be fresh – dried will not do. Frozen salmon is something I always have in my freezer. Fresh basil is something I try to keep with mixed results, as I’m not really good when it comes to keeping plants. Luckily organic basil is pretty cheap and easy to get at my supermarket, but when I first made this salad it must have been a good gardening moment as I had access to fresh basil leaves at home.salmon quinoa basil saladSalmon quinoa salad (serves 2-3):

  • 350 g salmon fillets
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa (about 160 g)
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Warm up a frying pan and sear the salmon fillets. I have sprinkled them with salt and pepper on both sides. There is no need to add any grease to the pan, as the oily fish will release some of its own fat to fry in. Flip the fillets over after a few minutes in order to cook them evenly on both sides. In another pot bring 2 cups of water to the boil. In the meantime rinse 1 cup of quinoa under tap water and keep it in a strainer until the water boils. When the water boils, add the rinsed quinoa and cook it on medium heat, lid on, for about 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa. When the quinoa is ready, remove from heat and stir in the salt and butter. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl. Tear the salmon fillets into bits by pulling them with a fork or with your fingers, and add the fish bits to the quinoa. Lastly, take 8 fresh basil leaves and cut them in thin slices. Allow the content of the bowl to cool down a little before adding the basil leaves so that they will not wither. Once the basil has been added, toss to combine. This salad can be eaten when it’s still slightly warm, or once it has cooled to room temperature completely.salmon-quinoa-basil-salad-3salmon-quinoa-basil-salad-1This is an example of a very healthy meal that will provide you with a solid supply of varied nutrients. Quinoa and salmon might not be the cheapest ingredients out there, so it may seem that this healthy meal comes at a high price. In fact, the yield is quite generus and if eaten alone as single-course meal this salad will satisfy 2 people; or it can be served together with something else – a bowl of soup for example – then it will serve 3 or even 4 people. Considering the yield and the nutritional intake, this salad is not that expensive in the end. And money spent on good food items is always well spent.

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