zucchini, quinoa + rocket salad w/ lemon, mint + chilli

quinoa, zucchini + mint salad
There is so much food kicking round my house these days that I very rarely have to actually think about something to make for lunch. I just eat whatever happens to be there for the days shoot and carry on. But today I wanted to make one last late-summer-style salad (okay, okay I know it's autumn. But it's still hot!) before we really get into the swing of this autumn thing.
I didn't have much of an idea of where I was going with this salad, and like most good things do it simply grew from my desire to make something fresh, fast and healthy. That, and having a good dig around in my fridge to see what was lurking in the deep un-known that needed using up! 
zucchini {courgette}
There's baby zuchinni (courgette) and their cool cousin scallopini (summer squash) sliced super thin, along with a little protein hit in the form of quinoa. I used a combo of black and white, but really it doesn't matter which type you use. There's chilli, mint and lemon from the garden out back and a good handful or two of rocket (arugula) that I had laying around from a shoot that was just begging to be eaten before it wilted any further. Pretty basic, pretty yum. 

Lastly, while I am nearing the end of my photoshoots for the book and moving onto the writing, I might be needing a few volunteers in the coming month to test a bunch of the recipes from my book. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, keep an eye out for my shout out soon. Many thanks in advance xx

quinoa, zucchini + mint salad

zuchinni, quinoa + rocket salad w/ lemon, mint + chilli
I used 1 birds eye chilli for this and could have even gone another 1/2-1, but if you don't like things too hot I'd suggest using one long Thai red chilli, and de-seed it to further lessen the blow if desired. I toast my sliced almonds in a hot dry pan shaking around constantly for about 1-2 minutes or until golden. If feta is your thing, I have a feeling this salad would be taken to the next level with a good crumbling over the top.
Serves 2-4

1/2 cup (90g) quinoa
3/4 cup (185ml)  water

3 small zuchinni (courgettes), ends trimmed
3 scallopini (summer squash)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 birds eye chilli, finely chopped or to taste
the finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 handfuls rocket (arugula) leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse quinoa well to remove the saponin, a bitter protective coating, then drain. The easiest way to do this is to put the raw grain into a fine mesh sieve and rinse under running water, then set aside to drain while the waters coming up to the boil. When your waters boiling, add the rinsed quinoa, cover and turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 12 mins or until the grains become translucent, the water is absorbed and an unusual outer white ring shows. Remove from the heat and fluff up with a fork.

Thinly slice zuchinni + scallopini into rounds using either a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Place into a bowl along with the garlic, chilli, lemon zest + juice, olive oil and mint leaves. Season well with sea salt and black pepper and give it all a good toss around to thoroughly mix. Stir through quinoa, almonds and rocket (arugula) leaves. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

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  • Veggie Mama
    April 11, 2013 at 5:13 am

    This sounds amazing! Love the idea of thinly-sliced raw squash. Yum-o!

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Yeah I reckon we should all be eating more raw zuchinni πŸ™‚

  • Ann-Louise
    April 11, 2013 at 6:10 am

    What beautiful veggies! In Sweden it's still freezing but hopefully in a couple of months time it will be summer. Lovely simple salad!

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Funny living in opposite ends of the world isn't it?! It will be summer before you know it… and winter here :-/

  • scarlett gaus
    April 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

    hi emma, looks delicious! i'd love to test a few recipes in advance…? sounds like the most fun thing to do. my blog: http://www.forkandflower.com. let me know if i can give you a hand. xo scarlett and ps: well done with the book…!

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Thanks so much Scarlett! I'll give a shout out sometime in the next few weeks when I'm all organised xx

  • Meg
    April 11, 2013 at 6:32 am

    This looks delicious! I'm on the search for ways of enjoying quinoa without feeling like a bunny in the fields! Fun to see squash used too, I think it's a very under-utilised veggie. I would LOVE to test a recipe! Will keep a hopeful eye out! xx

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Meg! Will put the word out soon… xx

  • Siobhan
    April 11, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Lovely recipe. Thanks

  • Nicola Galloway
    April 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for the delicious salad Emma. We have most of the vege used in the garden still so will have to give this a go soon. And love the salad servers! Will look out for your request for recipe testing x

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Thanks Nicola, I would love to have you give my recipes a whirl. Be in touch soon xx ps those salad servers are my fav, found at the Raglan dump of all places πŸ™‚

  • janet @ the taste space
    April 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Looks delicious and exactly what is languishing in my fridge at the moment, too! Yum!

  • Ingrid
    April 11, 2013 at 11:32 am

    What a beautiful salad, there is some wonderful late summer/ autumn produce out there at the moment to eat before the weather turns. I would enjoy testing any of your recipes and will keep an eye out.

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Thanks Ingrid, will be in touch soon xx

  • thelittleloaf
    April 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    This looks like just the kind of thing I pack and take to work to eat for lunch – it doesn't look quite so delicious in a little tupperware but it tastes pretty good! Gorgeous pics.

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Thank you! xx

  • vanilla bean blog
    April 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    What a beautiful salad! I am so excited about your book. πŸ™‚ (And, I'd love to help however I can! xo)

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Sarah, I have a couple of recipes with your name on them love xx

  • Golubka
    April 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    That's how things are around here as well when it comes to lunch; I rarely think about making something special – there are always leftovers from recipe testing these days. Your salad is gorgeous, quinoa and fresh crispy veggies taste so good together.

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Such a hard life isn't it πŸ˜‰ Hope everything's coming together nicely for your book xx

  • Barb@ThatWasVegan?
    April 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    What a beautiful salad!

  • london bakes
    April 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    This salad is an absolute stunner.

  • The InTolerant Chef β„’
    April 11, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Lovely recipe indeed, so fresh and seasonal! I would definitely add the extra chilli πŸ™‚

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

      A girl after my own heart πŸ™‚ xx

  • Jacquie
    April 12, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I am here for you girl!!Throw any recipe my way and i will give it a go!It is sooo stinkin cold here still,you better send the autumn and winter ones my way:)

    • emma
      April 14, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Jacquie! Plenty of winter-style ones in there. Will be in touch love xx

  • Colette Just for Foodies
    April 12, 2013 at 6:39 am


  • Mairi @ Toast
    April 13, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Beautiful salad Emma, perfect for this time of year. Days are still warm & sunny here too. πŸ™‚

  • Irina @ wandercrush
    April 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Gorgeous spoons and scallopini!

  • Maureen
    April 15, 2013 at 2:42 am

    I love the presentation of the salad with those beautiful spoons and I would love to eat it.

  • Sarah @ SimplyScrumptiousbySarah
    April 16, 2013 at 1:38 am

    This looks like an awesome healthy lunch!! I can't wait for summer veggies to be in season!!!!

  • Alissa Hankin
    April 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Such a delicious and colourful salad! Patty pan squashes are perfect πŸ™‚

  • Edwina @ My Mezzaluna
    April 24, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Just discovered your lovely blog and am so pleased. My son and I both have heaps of food intolerance. We are new to Perth (since January this year) and I'm still trying to find my way around. Could you make any recommendations for where you shop for your GF flours. Coles, Woolworths and Fresh Provisions do not have much variety. I am trying to find sorghum flour at the moment since I want to try and make my own GF Sour Dough bread. Thanks so much.

    • emma
      April 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Edwina, thanks for your message. Email me at emma(at)mydarlinglemonthyme(dot)com and I'd be happy to tell you where I buy my flours. Although sorghum is not the easiest flour to find and I don't use it myself…

  • Sherilyn @ Wholepromise
    April 25, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Love the flavours you have used here. So glad to read of your books progress. Look forward to its availability.