When event planner Glynis Hyslop entertains her maxim is ‘simple, unfussy and fresh’
- 500g quinoa
- 650ml water
- fine salt, to taste
- 5 spring onions, trimmed
- 450g thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 250ml flat-leafed parsley leaves
- 125ml fresh mint leaves
- 125ml coriander leaves
- 125g Danish feta, cubed
- black pepper, to taste
For the vinaigrette
- 2 large hard-boiled eggs
- 50ml fresh lemon juice, or to taste 10ml mild honey
- fine salt and black pepper, to taste
- 75ml extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse the quinoa in a large fine sieve under cold running water. Set it over a bowl and let it drain for at least 5 minutes.
- Place the water and about 2ml fine salt in a 2-litre saucepan. Bring it to the boil, add the quinoa and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 16-20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Spoon it onto a large rimmed baking sheet, spreading it in a single layer, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Cut the spring onions into 3cm pieces and then into thin julienned strips. Place in a large bowl.
- Cut the top quarter off each spear of asparagus and add these thin, tender tips to the spring onions. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips from remaining asparagus stalks, adding them to the other veg. When you can’t peel any more strips from a stalk, break off the thick end (reserving it for another use, such as soup) and add the remaining thin strip to the bowl of spring onions.
- To make the vinaigrette: peel the hard-boiled eggs and finely grate them with a Microplane or push them through a fine sieve. Whisk the lemon juice with the honey and about 4ml fine salt until smooth. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Whisk in the grated eggs.
- Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and toss with the herbs, cheese and most of the vinaigrette. Toss the asparagus and spring onions with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve: spoon the quinoa onto a serving platter, and top with the asparagus and spring onions.
COOK’S TIPS: The quinoa and hard-boiled eggs can be cooked a day ahead. Allow the quinoa to cool as directed, then chill it; allow it to come back to room temperature before serving. The vinaigrette (without the eggs) can be made up to 3 hours ahead; stir in the grated egg just before dressing the salad.
This recipe serves 6-8 people