Late Summer Supper

Despite the fact that fall is nearly upon us, it’s still hot as fire in LA and I’ve been cooking accordingly. All summer long, I’ve been making giant quinoa salads filled with different veggies and a variety of almost-no-cooking-required ingredients. I make a big bowl each Sunday, which we eat for dinner and then blow through for lunch the next day. For this round I used arugula, spiced chickpeas, tuna in olive oil, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, basil, avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper (full recipe below). It’s cooling food yet completely satisfying. The friend who I served this to over the weekend said she felt nurtured.

Alongside this giant (health) salad, I wanted to serve something indulgent. This came in the form of a pile of thinly sliced proscuitto de parma, a thick chunk of robusto cheese and salty green olives. And edible flowers for a bit of whimsy.

I had a big bunch of sage and an unopened bag of lavender sugar so why not try out some Lavender Sage Margaritas. This serves 2. Muddle a chopped sage leave and the juice of two limes and agave in a cocktail shaker. Add 3 ounces good quality silver tequila, 3 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice and a handful of ice and shake until mixed and icy cold. Coat the rim of your glasses with the juice of a lime and lavender sugar. Strain into glasses and garnish with a sage leaf.

Quinoa with Spiced Chickpeas, Tuna and Greens
serves 4-6
1 cup dry quinoa
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp garam masala
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry
2 cans of tuna (packed in olive oil)
1/2 a large, hothouse cucumber, chopped
1 basket of cherry tomatoes, halved
6 leaves of basil, torn
A large handful of Arugula
1 avocado, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
Good quality Balsamic Vinegar
Flakey sea salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground pepper
Cook the quinoa per the directions on the package (I cook it in veg broth).
While the quinoa is simmering away, heat the ghee in a saute pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the garam masala and let it sizzle for about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas and salt, stir to coat, and let them brown (and maybe even crisp up a bit) – about five minutes.
Gently combine the slightly cooled quinoa, garbanzo beans, tuna, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, arugula and avocado in a big bowl. Drizzle with olive oil (a good amount – maybe 2 tbs), lemon juice and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Finish off with salt and lots of pepper.