I have been in Washington DC for the past two weeks and it feels so nice to be back in my own kitchen, rather than eating out every night. The air here is fresh and crisp, unlike the heavy mugginess of DC, and summer is just starting. Returning to a beautiful, light summer day made the choice of what to make next easy: the Quinoa and Grilled Sourdough Salad (pg. 128). A “summery bread salad,” according to Chef, and seconded by me.
This salad was very easy to make. Simple, everyday ingredients and it did not take much time (about an hour). While the fresh bakery bread was “grilling,” the quinoa was cooking, and I was chopping the various veggies and herbs for mixing.
I made a few deviations from the recipe, purely for my own tastes. One was adding pepper to the grilled sourdough croutons. The recipe says to brush with olive oil and sprinkle on salt, which I did, but as a pepper lover, I also sprinkled on some fresh-ground pepper. I think it added flavor to the final dish! Also, the recipe calls for fresh mint. I like mint, but I also find it overpowering, so I added about half of what the recipe called for. The taste still came through, but it was toned down, which I found almost perfect.
Finally, I mixed everything together. Chef Ottolenghi says to add the dressing to taste and I think I may have been a bit light on mine (might add a bit more to the leftovers), but regardless of that, the salad turned out great. I give this 4 stars, as it could have used a little more flavor and a little less mint for me. But overall, easy, fresh and lite; perfect for a beautiful summer evening. (Mine on L; Chef’s on R, pg. 129).