I’ve been waiting since forever to present you my favorite salad, and now, as the sour cherries are in season, I can finally get to talk about it. It is such a rustic, simple and unpretentious dish, but it is also unbelievably tasty. This salad has just a few ingredients, ingredients that might not “go together” at first sight but they complete heavenly one another taste-wise and create a true flavor symphony. These being said, let’s get to the best part: this salad is not only delicious, but it is in fact vegan and extremely healthy!
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked) – 190g
- 2 cups vegetable broth – 270ml
- 1 medium zucchini – 150g
- 5-6 cornichon cucumbers – 150g
- 200g fresh sour cherries
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ lime
- 1 handful of parsley
- ½ a handful of lemon balm
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 2 cups of vegetable broth and ½ tsp sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat. When the broth begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork.
- Pit the sour cherries and place them on a paper tower to remove their juice.
- Using a mortar and a pestle mash 2 garlic cloves together with ¼ tsp sea salt until you get a creamy paste.
- Cut the zucchini in small cubes. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the zucchini and saute it for 1-2 minutes, until they are tender but still firm. Remove from heat and add the garlic paste. The residual heat from the pan will cook the raw garlic.
- Cube the cucumbers and finely chop the parsley and the lemon balm leaves.
- In a salad bowl mix together the chilled quinoa with sauteed zucchini and cubed cucumbers. Add chopped parsley and lemon balm, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the juice from half of a lime. Season well with freshly ground pepper and salt, only if needed. Garnish the salad with sour cherries and pine nuts.