Red quinoa and poached chicken salad with roasted hazelnut, peas, watercress and lemon oil dressing

Red quinoa and poached chicken salad with roasted hazelnut, peas, watercress and lemon oil dressing

Shall we go shopping? Isn’t this just a wonderful world…

Before we go any further, I am not suggesting shoes or handbags. I know all too well that no woman can resist the spell of beautifully-designed stiletto heels or the charm of a must-have leather bag.

After 12 years in the luxury market, 32 designer handbags and I can’t even begin to count how many pairs of shoes later, I have learnt my lesson.

The kind of shopping that i want to talk about is food. Gourgeous food of course! I must say that old habits die hard so unsurprisingly I’m thinking about food shopping in one of the world’s most fashionable places … Paris!

Still, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of summer shopping wearing a crispy cotton-print dress, flat diamante-thong sandals and carrying a country-chic willow basket. It’s like looking in the mirror!

That is exactly what I did last summer, shopping for fabulous, new ingredients in this wonderful city. Everything was so beautifully packaged and incredibly temtping that it was almost impossible not to buy and taste everything.

One of the things that I liked the most was the red quinoa that we bought from La grande épicerie, think Harvey Nicks meets La Rive Gauche. As soon as I came back to England I introduced the red quinoa with poached chicken salad to my customers.

But the red quinoa was always difficult to get hold of. So, I was very pleased when one of my suppliers included it in their selection!

As it is now possible to buy red quinoa from good health food stores, here is the wonderfully easy recipe for everyone that is so deeply found of this salad.

Red quinoa and poached chicken salad with roasted hazelnut, pea, watercress and lemon oil dressing

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300g cooked red quinoa (150g uncooked)
  • 300g roughly shredded poached chicken breasts
  • 150g watercress
  • 200g shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • 100g chopped roasted hazelnuts (reserve a tablespoon for decoration)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • juice and zest of 1 organic lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • nutmeg
  • pepper


  • Melt the butter in a pan and quickly cook the peas for a minute or so.
  • Mix the peas with the red quinoa and chopped hazelnuts.
  • Pour a couple of tablespoon of olive oil and half the lemon juice with the salad and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  • Divide into 4 dishes ready for serving.
  • Arrange watercress and shredded chicken breast on top of the quinoa salad.
  • Mix the remaining lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour into a little jug for your guests to use.
  • Scatter lemon zest and the extra chopped hazelnuts on the salad
  • Serve with the lemon dressing on the side.

P.S. For your summer shopping outfit drop the diamante-thong sandals for a pair of comfy pumps. Swollen feet in hot temperatures and sharp edges of the diamante are not a good combination!

Or just get a Joe Le Taxi to take you everywhere and never walk more than 10 minutes at a time!

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