Spring never ceases to inspire me, with the abundance of colour and aliveness. This is my gorgeous spring-inspired salad – bursting with freshness, flavour and health.

Makes 6-8 portions

Ingredients:

• 2 cups quinoa

• 100g low-fat goat’s cheese (I used Fairview Chevin), broken into bite-size pieces

• 300g cherry tomatoes, halved and baked with thyme

• 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

• 1 packet pitted olives, chopped

• 2 ripe avocados, halved and cut into cubes

• ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

• ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

• ½ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

• 6 spring onions, finely sliced

• ½ red onion, finely chopped

• Edible flowers, optional

Vinaigrette:

• ⅔rd olive oil (I used extra-light)

• ⅓rd fresh lemon juice

• ½ tsp. fresh chopped garlic

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. pepper

• Check seasoning and adjust

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2 Place tomato halves onto a greased oven tray; sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and bake for 20 mins or until soft and slightly brown.

Cooking quinoa:

1 Place quinoa in a pot and add 4 cups water; use the same size measuring cup for the water. Add salt to season the water.

2 Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer, until all the water has been absorbed. Mix with a fork.

3 Once absorbed, switch off the heat. Place a lid on the pot and allow the quinoa to steam for 15 mins.

Assembling:

1 Transfer quinoa to a big bowl and dress with the vinaigrette – reserve a little for later.

2 Add the chopped herbs.

3 Add the olives and baked cherry tomatoes.

4 Add spring onion and red onion.

5 Pour over a tiny bit more vinaigrette and mix well.

6 Add the goat’s cheese and avocado – do not mix now.

7 Garnish with edible flowers.

Dee’s notes:

• Once the avocado and goat’s cheese are in the salad, do not mix further. It will go mushy.
• Allow the quinoa to cool before adding the herbs.
• Try adding a bit of mint.