Post Australia Day weekend I was nostalgic over Leon‘s salad and not the quintessential Australian meatpie. Leon is a chain of great food in London, and one of the places that the London Stitch and Bitch used to frequent. I used to order their Superfood Salad multiple times and their recipe book is one that I tend to frequent now and again. If interested to see their other recipes, the Guardian showcased a number of their recipes from their cookbook “Leon Ingredients and Recipes” here. I am also excited that the great folks at Leon will be releasing a vegetarian cookbook this March, and I will definitely be ordering it.
This recipe is the vegetarian version of their Superfood Salad, replacing the suggested grilled chicken with fetta as its main source of protein. One thing I do have to say is you just have to make their aioli. It is so much lighter and fluffier than your typical variety thanks to the whipped egg white and yoghurt. One tip if you want to bulk up this salad you can always have it with some brown rice.
- 2 tbsp quinoa (I used red quinoa)
- ½ head of broccoli
- 100g fetta
- 2 handfuls of rocket
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 120g frozen peas (if using fresh, use 500g unshelled pods)
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- A light sprinkling of alfalfa sprouts
- 3 tbsp aïoli (see recipe below)
- 2 tbsp toasted seeds
- A hefty sprinkling of chopped mint and parsley
- Salt and pepper
Put 80ml of water into a small pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the quinoa and boil fast for five minutes, then turn the heat down and simmer for five minutes more. Turn the heat off, fluff with a fork, and leave until cooled.
Cut the broccoli into small florets and slice the stalks into 1cm thick circles. Drop into a pan of rapidly boiling salted water for three minutes, then drain and run under the tap until cold.
While all this is going on, build your salad: toss the leaves, tomatoes, broccoli and peas in the juice of half a lemon and the olive oil. Lift on to one big serving dish or individuals, scatter on the cooled quinoa and alfalfa. The next layer is the fetta. Top with the aïoli, seeds and herbs, with the other half lemon, wedged, on the side.
Leon’s Aioli Recipe (makes 500ml)
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- 3 cloves of garlic mixed with a pinch of sea salt (original recipe called for 4-5)
- 120ml sunflower oil (I substituted with olive oil)
- 200ml thick Greek Yoghurt (not sheep’s milk)
- Juice of 1/4 – 1/2 lemon, to taste
- Salt to taste, about 1 – 2 teaspoon
Using an electric mixer on low, whizz up all the egg bits with the garlic for a few minutes until pale and fluffy. Start drizzling in the oil, like making mayo or hollandaise. Once all the oil is incorperated, turn the machine off. Stir/ fold the yoghurt in gently by hand and finish with the lemon and salt.