We came up with this recipe one dark January morning when the residual guilt of the excesses of the festive season was still weighing us down (metaphorically and perhaps physically too!).
This recipe certainly provided an antidote! We serve this salad on our brunch menu in the café, topped with a poached egg and a pinch of sumac. It also works wonderfully with some poached chicken or smoked fish.
– 300g red quinoa
– 10g fresh mint
– 10g fresh dill
– 10g fresh lovage
– 80g kale
– juice of 1–2 lemons
– olive oil
– salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 avocado
– 85g currants
– 50g baby red chard or baby spinach leaves
– 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced at an angle (or leave the seeds in if you fancy a bit more heat in your
– 150g feta cheese, crumbled
– 10g alfalfa sprouts or pea shoots (optional but worth it!)
– 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
1. First cook the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a pot and cover with water. Place on the hob and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 12–15 minutes, just until the quinoa still retains a little bite.
2. Remove from the hob and pour into a fine mesh sieve or colander. Rinse the quinoa under cold running water until it has completely cooled.
3. Wash and dry the herbs and chop them finely, chopping the stalks very finely (except for the mint stems, which can be quite woody).
4. Remove the central rib/stalk from the kale and discard it, then roll up the leaves like a cigar and slice them finely. Toss the kale in half the lemon juice, some oil and a little seasoning in a large bowl. Let it sit
while you prepare the remainder of the dish.
5. Run your knife lengthways around the stone in the avocado, then gently twist to separate the two halves. Remove the stone and discard it.
6. Use a large spoon to remove the flesh from the skin, then chop it into large dice. Place in a bowl with a good squeeze of lemon juice and some seasoning.
7. Place the cooled red quinoa in the bowl with the kale. Add the currants,red chard, chilli and herbs and mix well. Season well and add a drizzle of oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
8. Divide the salad between your serving bowls. Divide the diced avocado between the bowls, then crumble over the feta cheese and finish with the alfalfa sprouts, if using, and sunflower seeds. Serve immediately.
Garrett Fitzgerald left his office-based career to follow his dream: to immerse himself in the creative adventures to be enjoyed with food. That journey started off with three wonderful months in Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School. Next, he and his partner James travelled the world, exploring the flavours of local food throughout. Bringing that experience back home on a wing and a prayer, Brother Hubbard opened on Dublin’s Capel Street in 2012. Leaning towards aspects of Middle Eastern and Southern Mediterranean food, The Brother Hubbard Cookbook is packed with nutritious, wholesome, often deceptively vegetarian dishes that emphasise flavour, colour and texture.
The Brother Hubbard Cookbook is published by Gill Books, and is available to buy on www.gillbooks.ie.