Beetroot quinoa salad for Hackney in the heat

ridley210613dish — Beetroot quinoa salad ©

ridleylogDEVERY WEEK I take £5  to Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2LH, to spend on seasonal food, obviously not including items likely to be already in a kitchen, such as sauces, oil, herbs and spices. 

On Friday I tell you what I have chosen and publish a seasonal recipe.

As usual, expenditure on any extra ingredients, eg, flour, will be recouped by usage over subsequent weeks. 

Some of the recipes will be frugal. They will all be tasty. All will be vegetarian.

This week’s £5 basket of best buys from Ridley Road Market

Bowl red peppers (4) £1, bowl ginger (2 large pieces) £1, bowl lemons (5) £1, new potatoes (4) £1, bunch beetroot £1.50

Total £5.50. Oops, 50p over-budget.

QUINOA and millet are two of my favourite ingredients because they contain so much goodness. Quinoa, weight for weight, contains more protein than meat and is a good source of calcium. Millet contains protein, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. These grains are often referred to as superfoods.

Beetroot quinoa salad. Serves 2

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon oil, 1 onion peeled and chopped into small pieces (from last week’s basket), 55g quinoa rinsed under cold water in a sieve, 150ml water, 1 beetroot, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, a handful of chopped mint or parsley leaves, ground black pepper to taste.

Equipment: kitchen knife, 2 lidded saucepans, tablespoon, sieve, grater, bowl, wooden spoon. Wash all vegetables.

Preparation: onion and beetroot 10 minutes, cooking 15 minutes.

Method: Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Stir, cover and cook slowly — for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Put the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes before removing the lid. While the onions and quinoa are cooking, peel and grate the beetroot into a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and black pepper. I used fresh mint leaves and added them at this stage. When the onions are cooked, add them to the beetroot and mix. The same with the quinoa and mix well so that the quinoa turns a lovely red colour. 

This colourful salad goes well with tarts and pies, among other dishes. Taste it before you choose a partner for it.

Summer solstice stunner: all   this for £5
Summer solstice stunner: potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, beetroot, lemons… all for £5

As for the rest of  my basket, with the remaining lemons, I shall make some fresh lemonade — so much tastier than factory-made. I can cook the potatoes and use with olive oil and cumin seeds, beetroot, ginger, lemon juice  and  peppers, peeled, grated, squeezed or sliced to make a variety of salads. You see, I am hoping to be in need of refreshment during the hot season that I am willing to start today, the longest day. Yes, 21 June 2013 marks the summer solstice.

* Two websites have written about this column. Hackney Post has published an interview with Shooey, as has the Food Bankers. Hackney council journalist Marcel Reinard has made a video about markets, including Ridley Road. 

* Emboldened or tinted words may indicate a hyperlink, a special service for Loving Dalston readers who may want to look further into a topic. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

Beauty in a little wheel: market barrow in Ridley Road

*Previous articles hyperlinked: Lemon couscous with spicy mushrooms 14 June 2013; Lurgied 7 June 2013At last, the Alphonso 31 May 2013; Aubergine salad 24 May 2013; Asparagus with hollandaise 17 May 2013Stuffed beef tomatoes with guacamole 10 May 2013Hackney snackney 3 May 2013Bell pepper salad 26 April 2013Gnocchi and tomato sauce with zucchini salad  19 April 2013 Tomato soup with soda bread 12 April 2013Broccoli mornay 5 April 2013Easter redemption song 29 March 2013 Less  is enough 22 March 2013A tart in the mart 15 March 2013; Polenta verde and sauté mushrooms 8 March 2013; Caribeasy 29 February 2013; Feeling fruity 22February 2013; Kashmir delight 15 February 2013Samphire surprise 8 February 2013Two dishes from £5 1 February 2013Ae fond neep 25 January 2013Cauliflower cheese 18 January 2013Hackney frittata 11 January 2013;  Tasty and easy Christmas snack 21 December 2012The shops behind the market stalls 9 November 2012Chutney 2 November 2012;  Piccalilli 26 October 2012Golden soup 19 October 2012Roasted, stuffed squash 12 October 2012Vegetable curry 5 October 2012Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012Bubble and squeak Shooey styleBakewell pudding 14 September 2012Coleslaw and radishes 7 September 2012Turkish spinach pie 31 August 2012Tomato tart, marinated aubergines, fresh mango chutney 24 August 2012Roasted butternut squash soup and beetroot salad 17 August 17 2012The column sets itself a challenge 15 August 2012


This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. Letters may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, for shortening or for substitution of Wikipedia citations by reliable sources. RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston