This is a substantial salad that works as part of a buffet spread or could be packed into a lunchbox and taken to work. If you make it ahead, soak the avocado slices in acidulated water (that's water with a bit of lemon juice in to you and me) to stop them discolouring. And make sure the avocado is nice and ripe, so it's easy to stone and adds a lovely creaminess to the dish. The quinoa acts as a base to hold everything together and soaks up all the lovely spices. What's not to love?
Spiced Avocado, Carrot & Quinoa Salad (serves 4)
- 100g quinoa
- 500g carrots
- 40ml olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 red chillies, finely chopped
- 1/2tsp ground cloves
- 1/2tsp ground ginger
- 1/2tsp ground coriander
- 3/4tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp paprika
- 1tbsp Chinese rice wine vinegar (or substitute white wine vinegar)
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 avocado
- Rinse the quinoa, then place in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Drain and leave to cool.
- Peel the carrots and slice into 1cm discs. Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil. Simmer the carrots for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to steam dry.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion gently until it is lightly golden. Add the carrots, quinoa and all the spices, chilli, garlic, sugar, vinegar and lemon. Give a quick stir around, then take off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- When ready to serve, slice the avocado into thin wedges and arrange on top of the salad.