What do you get if you cross quinoa with one of my favourite sandwiches?
A really kick ass salad, that’s what.
I have wanted to make a quinoa salad for a while, but there were so many options and I just couldn’t decide what flavour combination would work best. But after a major craving for a bacon and avocado sandwich, I thought ‘hold the phone’, this could be the basis of an awesome salad! I love BLT sandwiches (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato), I love bacon and avocado sandwiches, and I love a good salad. And that is how the BLTA quinoa salad was born. It’s super simple and really tasty, and do not miss out the squeeze of limón at the end, it really ties everything together.
I would just like to apologise for the picture below, it is really quite awful, but I had to take it with my phone (my camera had gone walkabout) and it’s all a bit blurry. Normally it takes OK photos, but clearly it (or I) was having a bad photo day!
(A quick note: cook the quinoa in advance of when you want to eat, as it needs to cool after it has cooked before you assemble the salad.)
BLTA QUINOA SALAD
makes 2 bowls of salad
// 1/2 cup quinoa //
// 1 cup boiling water //
// pinch of salt //
//4 large crispy lettuce leaves, washed and torn up into bite size pieces// I used a regular ‘lechuga’ here but I think a Little Gem lettuce would work really well.
// 2 tomatoes, washed, deseeded and diced //
// 1/2 a large avocado, cut into small chunks// or one small one!
// 4 rashers of bacon //
// 2 limóns // if you don’t have limón, use 1/2 a small lime on each salad
// extra virgin olive oil //
REMEMBER – Thoroughly rinse the quinoa (I used a fine mesh sieve under running water). This is extremely important as it gets rid of the bitter tasting coating.
Once rinsed, tip into a saucepan over a medium heat and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer with a lid on. Add a pinch of salt to the water now if you want to. It should take around 15- 20 mins to cook, once boiling, but keep an eye on it as there isn’t much time between cooked and mushy quinoa. It will still have a slight crunch, or bite, once cooked so don’t worry about it not being completely soft. You may need to add a tiny bit more water when almost cooked so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once cooked, leave to completely cool in the pan.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork and separate into two salad bowls. Add in the lettuce leaves and squeeze half a limon over each bowl and fluff again, mixing the leaves into the quinoa and soaking up the juice.
Divide the tomato and avocado between the two salads.
Fry the bacon in a hot pan until slightly crispy. Lie the cooked bacon on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat, then snip into bite size pieces over both salad bowls.
Squeeze over the salad the other half of the limon juice and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Add a sprinkle of salt if you wish.