Travelling back from Ireland with my son we stopped in Bristol to take the inventory of his new university digs.

He generously offered to take me out for lunch and he selected a place which catered for both of our tastes – healthy and less healthy – the Boston Tea Party on Whiteladies Road, an informal café with squashy sofas and blackboard menus.

I opted for a quinoa salad with pistachio, raisins, corriander and apricots (dried, or if in season, fresh).
Below is the basic salad – anything can be added, whatever lurks in your fridge which is not going to poison you will fit the bill.

For six

• 450g/1 lb/2½ cups quinoa
• 1 small cucumber
• 6 spring onions
• 25g/1 oz flat leaved parsley
• 25g/1 oz mint leaves
• 1 orange
• ⅛ tsp dried chillies
• 6 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp blood orange juice
• Salt and pepper
• Apricots, pistachios…. any other leftovers….
1. Rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear
2. Put into a large saucepan and cover with 5 cups/1.2 litres water
3. Bring to the boil, simmer and cook, covered loosely for twenty minutes – until the water is absorbed and parts of the quinoa glows transparently.
4. Meanwhile zest the orange, and then peel it. take the skin off the segments and chop loosely
5. Dice the cucumber
6. Very thinly slice the spring onions (discarding the roots of course) including about 1”/3 cm of the green part.
7. Chop the parsley (including the stems) and the mint.
8. When the quinoa is cool, mix everything together and add in your leftovers.

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