Katrina Meynink's chickpea, grain and feta salad with smoky harissa and semi-dried tomato dressing

A substantial salad with a smoky harissa dressing.
A substantial salad with a smoky harissa dressing. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Fresh herbs add a bit of lift and life to this filling grain salad with a smoky dressing. Serve on its own or alongside grilled fish and meats.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup tri-colour quinoa
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • ½ cup buckwheat
  • stock to cover (I used chicken but vegetable would also be great)
  • 3 cups spinach leaves
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Persian-style feta
  • 2 cups mixed soft herbs (such as parsley, dill, coriander, basil), roughly chopped

For the dressing

  • ½ cup semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½-1 cup iced water

METHOD

  1. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients except for the water in a blender until incorporated. At this point it will be very thick. Slowly stream in the iced water and blitz again until a creamy consistency is achieved – you may not need all the water. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Rinse the grains thoroughly. Place in a large saucepan with just enough stock to cover. Simmer for 15-18 minutes until cooked through – they should be slightly firm to the bite. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Add the cooled grains, spinach, chickpeas, cranberries, pistachio kernels, feta and herbs to a large serving bowl/platter. Drizzle over just enough of the dressing to coat, and gently toss together. Season again with salt and pepper before serving with any leftover dressing to the side for people to help themselves.

Serves 4 as a light meal (or 6 as a side)

This recipe is from episode eight of Good Food's new TV show, Good Food Kitchen, screening on Channel 9 at 1pm on Saturday, November 27, or catch up on 9Now.