Great food comes from great ingredients. Great ingredients come from great producers.

This recipe uses one of my favourite. Quinoa from the Bath Farm Girls based near Bath in the UK. I’ve worked with Emily before and she kindly sent me some of her new red quinoa for me to marry with some wonderful Irish autumnal produce.

Autumn red quinoa tabbouleh

to serve 4 as an accompaniment to roast chicken, baked salmon or whatever you fancy

roughly 100g red quinoa (you can use any quinoa or you can replace with cous cous)

about 500ml chicken stock (or any stock of your choice, seasoned water works too)

1 tennis ball sized red beetroot or ideally a few smaller ones

equal measure of squash. I used a lovely crown prince but butternut would work nicely

1 apple

4 scallions

a few sprigs of thyme

a handful of fresh parsley

a handful of fresh mint

a splash of cider vinegar (i use the apple farm in Cahir, Tipperary)

a dash of rapeseed oil

A recipe for a tabbouleh i always a very personal thing. Traditionally it should be a high percentage of herbs, much less grain than you would think. I like this.

First you need to demonstrate your knife skills. Take your time. Peel the squash, apple and beetroot. Slice it as thinly as you can and then slice into matchsticks. Slice your scallions (white and green parts). The more time you can on this, the better the end texture. Dress this in a bowl with the cider vinegar, rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bring your stock to the boil and add your quinoa. Simmer for around 20 minutes. You want to keep tasting the quinoa. You want it to just break in your mouth. Drain.

You now have 2 options. If you add the quinoa to the veggies hot then the heat will soften them a little. If you allow it to cool then your veg will still have a raw bite. I like to soften the veggies a little so add it when its still hot.

Allow to cool. Roughly chop your herbs and throw then in. Serve at room temperature.

I like the idea of this. Tabbouleh has always been something for the summer but with this I feel like i have the best of all seasons. I’m writing this in the hot Irish morning sun so its all fits together nicely and brings a smile to my face.

Click the link below to read my interview I did with Emily from the Bath Farm Girls last year.

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