Great Summertime Salad

One evening, a couple weeks ago, Jared and I were lounging in the living room and I turned to Jared and said, “I really can’t believe this house is ours.” He responded, “I was just thinking the same thing.” I’ve been reflecting about my life and how incredibly fortunate I feel for everyone and everything in it. We’ve been in our house for about 7 weeks now and I have to pinch myself every time I’m reminded of this fact. This whole time I’ve been wondering when I would have a chance to sit back and just enjoy it because the unpacking, painting, and building that we embarked upon when we first moved in was taking up so much of our time, all while still working on our businesses needs too.

Then I realized there have been friends and family coming over or stopping by 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes for dinner or an afternoon snack, other times for just hanging out or a round of ping pong or badminton. It has felt so effortless and normal that I haven’t thought twice about it. You see, our previous rental house was only 650 sq. ft. being used as not only a home, but an entire work studio for two fully self-employed, married adults. To say the least, it was a bit cramped all the time, even with our best efforts to maintain organization.

We have a giant dining table made from a reclaimed bowling ally that we’ve been hauling around with us for the past 5 years, but it’s never been put to use for it’s intended purpose; dining. The few times we did have people over, we had to corral ourselves around a small coffee table in the living room and stoop down or hold our plates in our laps to enjoy a meal. We often ate meals at our computer or on a small rolling cart we used in the kitchen. Since moving here I have eaten every single meal at our dining table and it has felt so great. I now cherish this moment when I get to close my computer 3 times a day to just sit and enjoy my food.

It feels a little weird to say that I’ve probably dreamed of having my own house since I was little, but I have. I’ve always been incredibly domestic and a nester by nature. I used to arrange and re-arrange my room, organizing and putting things in their place. I enjoyed cooking and cleaning and the prep work that came with holidays around the house when my mom would prepare big family meals for our guests. I seriously can’t wait for that in our new house. I can’t wait for trick-or-treaters this October or setting up holiday decor. I can’t wait for our garden to be fully exploding (fingers crossed) with more vegetables than I know what to do with, so I have to force them onto neighbors and friends (more zucchini anyone?).


I’ve been picking herbs and greens and uprooting radishes for a little over a week now and my cooking has definitely been lead by it too. All those herbs and baby arugula you see up there, are from our garden and were put into this green quinoa. Having so much fresh produce right in our back yard makes cooking even easier. Everyone who has seen or heard about our garden, is always so impressed that we even put one in this year. It was the first thing on my to-do list and this green bowl is the first proof that it was definitely worth our efforts.

green quinoa bowl

Green Quinoa / serves 4-6
Adapted from Plenty

I’ve made several changes to Ottolenghi’s original recipe, using what I had. I used some leftover quinoa I had, but have given instructions for starting with dry quinoa.

1 cup quinoa
2 cup water or vegetable stock
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

herb paste
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
big pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cup baby arugula leaves or larger ones chopped

Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place in a saucepan with the water or stock, adding a pinch of salt if you like, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat and fry the onions in the oil until golden and completely soft. Add the salt and cumin and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.

To make the herb paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.

Add the herb paste to the quinoa and mix everything together well with a fork to fluff it up. Add the cooked onion, the pistachios, garlic, red pepper flakes, and arugula and gently mix. Serve at room temperature.