Quinoa, Broccolini and Asparagus Salad

Serves: 4 as a side

An unusual salad to write up on the coldest day in Sydney this year, though the house is warm and for a healthy Monday evening, there isn’t much not to love.

Let’s start with healthy: 217 calories a serve.

Taste? Fresh, clean, green and wholesome.

Ease? Way up there.

The quinoa is a bit of a star adding weight and nourishment, though it all pulls together and makes you feel like you are eating your way through a green garden.

And with plenty left for tomorrow‘s lunch – with the smoky barbequed salmon we also cooked tonight, flaked on top – as long as the office is warm, this is an awesome, filling meal the next day.

From Tobie and Georgia Puttock’s book, The Chef gets Healthy.


2 heaped tbps low fat plain Greek-style yoghurt
Sea salt and cracked pepper
2 small handfuls of mint leaves
2 pinches ground cumin
¾ cup (150gm) quinoa
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
1 bunch asparagus, end trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
1 bulb baby fennel
1 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 small handful of dill, chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


  1. Place the yoghurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Finely chop half the mint leaves and mix into the yoghurt. Sprinkle with a pinch of cumin, cover and place in the fridge until needed.
  2. Toast the quinoa in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, stirring continuously for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups (500ml) water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and hold at a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to absorb any remaining liquid. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and place in the fridge covered for about 10 minutes to cool.
  3. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the broccolini and asparagus for 1 minute; drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Remove the stalks from the fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds and discard the stalks. Cut the fennel in half lengthways, then slice into thin strips. Place in a bowl of ice water to keep fresh and crisp.
  5. Remove the cooled quinoa from the fridge. Add the broccolini, asparagus, fennel, capers, dill, lemon zest and juice, remaining mint leaves and a pinch of cumin, reserved fennel fronds and a good drizzle of olive oil. Mix carefully by hand and season.
  6. Serve with a dollop of the yoghurt mixture on top.

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