Thursday, 13 May 2010

Plenty of Inspiration

The first day back to work after the week long holiday in Northern Cyprus, was not as horrific as it could have been thanks to a copy of Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, which had been delivered to work whilst I was away.

A brief flick through whilst I booted my mac up at work not only instantly filled me with inspiration  but literally made the prospect of my work inbox telling me that I had over 200 emails waiting to be read actually bearable surprisingly. The serenity of the holiday lasted all of about another 5 minutes,  the next time I managed to look at Plenty again was the next day after work.  Thankfully Lucy and Nina were coming round the next evening to discuss future Supperclubs, or rather using the guise of discussing future supperclubs but in fact having a gossip and a giggle once again.

Still pining for the warmer climes of Northern Cyprus and the wondrous fresh mediteriarian cuisine which we ate every day whilst been there. I decided that the quinoa and bread salad was the best choice for the evening, due to two major contributing factors time and cost. 

What I cooked below is based on the recipe in Ottolenghi's book crossed with a Panzanella recipe with somewhat of a Turkish twist,  variations  were dependent on what was picked up on the way home from work and what was already in the cupboards.

Quinoa and Bread Salad 

For 4 people

Quinoa (about a cup and half)
1 x Red Onion
2 x Mini Cucumbers
4 x Large on the vine tomato's from the local Turkish supermarket
Feta Cheese
Turkish Flat Bread
Pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
4 tbsp of chopped fresh mint
4 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley
4 tbsp of chopped coriander
Maldon Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

1. First rinse the Quinoa, then toast off the Quinoa until it changes colour, and then add one and a half times stock to the grain, season and simmer over a medium heat on the hob for around 15 minutes.

2. Whilst the Quinoa is bubbling away, finely slice the Red Onion, cut the cucumbers into large dices along with the tomato's.

3. Brush the Turkish Flat Bread with good Virgin Olive Oil and place in a warm oven until it's warm and slightly toasted. 

4. Once the Quinoa has cooked, rinse with cold water and drain

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and sliced Red Onion to the Quinoa and tear up and add as much of the bread as you think necessary.

6. Add the chopped herbs to the mix with the pomegranate molasses and white wine vinegar, and mix thoroughly.

7. Serve up with either crumbled Feta cheese or Greek yogurt on top of the Salad.

Really enjoyed this with Nina and Lucy, really light but surprisingly filling. Also tasted really fresh and texture of the different ingredients was a joy to eat, and was really easy and quick to make. I have a feeling that I will eating a lot more of this during the next few months. 


  1. This sounds lovely. What if I can't find pomegranate molasses - would regular molasses work? With a fruit based vinegar to balance?

  2. You can find Pomegranate Molasses in most Turkish supermarkets or shops. But if not would also work with scooped out pomegranate seeds and a bit of Vinegar - would use a fruit based like you said or a splash of red wine vinegar