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Quinoa salad with dried Iranian lime

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

A wonderful, hearty salad, that is loaded with lots of grains, and herbs. This salad can serve as a light meal for lunch or dinner. I love Iranian lime, also called as Omani or Persian limes. These small limes are available online or in Middle Eastern grocery stores. The limes are dark purple-black and have an aromatic tart flavor that I love. Also what stands out is the wonderful aroma that will permeate the house and you wish would stay forever. Here is more on these limes.

For this salad, I substituted Bhutanese red rice instead of wild rice, that was what I had at home and I really did not want to run an errand to a store for a single item in today’s world. In addition, I used just the soft dried piths of the limes, yes getting them out is a laborious task and I but it was worth it. The salad is beautifully textured with the different grains, the sweet potatoes add a delicate sweetness that is rounded off by the dried lime, spices and herbs.

This was my first Ottolenghi cookbook, and I have cooked extensively from it, probably more than half the recipes over the years. It is the perfect introduction to Middle Eastern flavors and other global cuisine.

For another recipe with Iranian limes check out Omani-spiced red lentils or Marak dal, also on this blog.

For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.


2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 lb total)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1/4 cup mixed basmati and wild rice

1/4 cup quinoa

4 garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 tablespoons shredded sage leaves

1 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves

3 tablespoons Iranian lime, inside flesh removed and deseeded

6 tablespoons shredded fresh mint

4 spring onions, green part only, thinly sliced, plus extra to garnish

1 tteaspoon lemon juice

1/4 lb feta, broken into chunks

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut roughly into 1/2 inch dice. Spread on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper, drizzle with half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and it is starting to get charred in spots.

Meanwhile, cook the rice, as per the insdtructions on the box.

Put the quinoa in a pan with lots of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain into a fine sieve and leave to dry. Put the cooked and dry (but still warm) rice and quinoa in a large mixing bowl.

Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan, then fry the garlic for 30 seconds, or until it turns light golden. Add the sage and oregano, and fry, stirring, for about a minute - make sure the herbs and garlic don't burn.

Tip the contents of the pan over the rice and quinoa, then stir in the roasted sweet potato and its oil. Add the dried lime, mint, spring onion, lemon juice, feta and salt and pepper, toss together gently, taking care not to mush up the sweet potato and feta, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve warmish, or at room temperature, garnished with spring onions.

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