2 cups quinoa
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, plus 2 more tablespoons for serving
3 tablespoons salted pistachios or pine nuts, toasted
3 spring onions, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese
1 blood orange, peeled and sliced into rounds (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil, for the orange (optional)

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Quinoa Salad with Feta, Pomegranate, and Pistachio

SERVES: 4 as a main, 6 as a side

Felicity introduced me to this healthy alternative to pasta and bread — the staples of the Tucci family diet. Quinoa is a fantastic base to which so many other flavors can be added, like dates, avocado, or grilled halloumi cheese. Nutty, delicious, and good for you, this quinoa salad blends the sharpness of the feta, the sweetness of the pomegranate, and the crunch of the nuts. It can be served as a side or a main.

1. Soak the quinoa in cold water to remove its bitterness. Each brand is different, so check the instructions on the package. Then rinse it thoroughly.

2. Bring 3 to 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa is done when the germ separates from the seed. It should have a little bite to it, too. Strain if necessary. Dress with the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

3. Gently mix the pomegranate seeds, pistachios or pine nuts, and spring onions into the quinoa. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Place the mixture in a serving dish and place the feta
cheese on top. Scatter the last 2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds over the top, gently break up the feta, and serve.

This is delicious served with some sliced blood oranges dressed with extra virgin olive oil.