Tahini chopped salad with quinoa and beluga lentils

Tahini chopped salad with quinoa and beluga lentils

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This post is coming to you from my borrowed desk at my best friend Naomi's house. We both realised some new walls to write from would be good- so I've got a new (temporary) desk south of the Thames. It's great what a change in scenery can do to your work outlook. Yes, there's been a few Jimmy Fallon video sessions, not gonna lie, but it is nice to write from somewhere new!

With working-in-home in mind, this chopped salad is great for making when there's a run of work-from-home days. Leave the dressing separate from the salad in the fridge and it should last for around three days. 

I adapted this recipe from Dolly and Oatmeal... who originally adapted it from an Ottolenghi's Jerusalem, so as with the best recipes, it's done the rounds. I decided to simplify the flavours a little because to me, tahini, lemon juice, mint, pine nuts and tomatoes are already quite competitive! But just add whatever you think would taste best.

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Makes enough for 4

Ingredients

Handful of chopped salad leaves

Handful of green beans, cut in half

Handful of heirloom or baby tomatoes (any tomatoes you can find will work fine, I just like the different colours of the more unusual varieties).

Handful of cucumber, chopped

2-3 tbsp dry-toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves

Salt and pepper

Paprika to taste

2 cups cooked quinoa  

1 cup cooked beluga or puy lentils  

 

For the dressing: 

1/3 cup tahini paste

1/4 cup water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 small garlic clove, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

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Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. For the dressing, mix together the tahini, water, lemon juice and garlic in a separate bowl, then season to taste. 

Plate up, sprinkle with a little more paprika, salt and pepper, then pour over the tahini dressing so all the salad components are flavoured with it- it's a strong flavour so you won't need all the dressing in one go, so just grab a fork and tuck in. 

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Smashed guacamole

Smashed guacamole

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It was only when putting a new website together for Guac that I realised I have never done a guacamole recipe. So here's my take on guac.

I hate it stodgy and creamy, that heavy mixture that reminds me of a neglected salad table at a barbeque. Instead of blending, I just mash guac with a potato masher, after chopping all the ingredients apart from the avocado really small. I like being able to see what I'm eating with guac.

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This recipe is fresh and juicy.  If I've put a chili in anything else I'm serving I'll usually leave it out of the guac, so it can be refreshing against any heat, but add or takeaway to your own taste. 

Enough for four

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados

1 small red onion, finely chopped

Juice 1 lime

1 chopped garlic clove (chopped down very small or smashed up in a pestle and mortar and then chopped) 

Splash of olive oil

About 2.5cm of cucumber, cut down small

Salt and pepper

Add everything to a large mixing bowl and mash, then season to taste. Thumbs up!