- 5 small shallots, sliced into 1 cm-thick rings
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ t caster sugar
- 1 T sumac
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 200 g red quinoa 200 g, rinsed
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 2 T olive oil
- 150 g young watercress leaves, tough stalks removed
Place the shallots into a small bowl with 1 t salt. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes before adding the sugar, sumac and vinegar. Mix again and set aside for another 30 minutes.
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add the quinoa. Return to the boil, then cook for 11 minutes. Drain, refresh well under cold water and set aside until completely dry.
To make the dressing, place the lemon juice and mustard in a bowl with 1 t salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix continually as you slowly add the olive oil.
Strain the shallots and put them into a large mixing bowl, along with 1 T pickling liquid. Add the quinoa and watercress and pour over the dressing. Combine everything gently and serve.
Cook's note: “This first accompanied a potted crab dish served at NOPI, dotted with quails’ eggs. The sharp flavours of the salad work well with most fish and seafood – potted or otherwise – or alongside grilled meat. It’s also punchy enough to be a stand-alone starter to a meal. If you can find it, black quinoa also looks great here, either by itself or in combination with the red. The black variety needs a bit more cooking than the red – an extra 5 minutes – so get it going in the pan beforehand if you are using both. The more widely available white quinoa (which needs a couple of minutes less cooking than the red) is also an option.”
This recipe appears in NOPI: THE COOKBOOK by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully. Food photography copyright Jonathan Lovekin 2015. Reproduced with permission from Ebury Press.