Quinoa, jar of marinated artichokes, pomegranate, can of chickpeas.
Serves: X Preparation: X
Once upon a time, I was completely obsessed with artichoke cream. From slathering it on bread to swirling linguine into it, it could do no wrong as far as I was concerned. This creation was born of "oh no, lunch is in 15 minutes and all I have is a pomegranate until the market delivers my fresh produce!" panic. I always have cans of chickpeas in the cupboard (there is no emergency that cannot be fixed with hummus. It is the new cup of tea) and jars full of different grains and with this satisfying salad, I'm very glad that I do!
1) Soak the quinoa for 5 minutes and rinse well in a sieve. Depending on where you buy it, it naturally has an acrid coating called saponin which you don't want flavouring your food!
2) Cover the quinoa in slightly salted water or stock if you wish and bring to the boil for about 15 minutes, stir continually as it soaks up the water and fluffs up, then remove from the heat. Drain the chickpeas and add to the mix.
3) Pour the jar of artichoke into a blender. Personally I prefer to drain away the oil it's marinated in first and just add a little of it, but you can in fact use all of the oil if you wish. Blitz thoroughly until a smooth, emulsified cream forms.
4) Stir some of the cream into the quinoa - just enough to dress it rather than turn it into soup!
5) Slice your pomegranate in half, hold it over a bowl (cut side down...) and them smack it repeatedly with a wooden spoon or ladle until all of the beautiful jewels have dropped out. Sprinkle onto your salad and serve, hot or cold.