I returned from Tuscany last Saturday night where I had spent ten amazing days teaching a food and lifestyle photography workshop.
My head jet-lagged and full of beautiful scenery. The rolling hills, the wildflowers everywhere, the faces, the food. I miss it.
I miss our students who enthusiastically joined us in every trip and every exercise.
I returned home to some beautiful handmade Mother’s Day presents that Jon and Miren had made for me while I was away. A birdhouse, a clay basket for my rings, drawings and paintings. And yesterday, we spent Mother’s Day at the farmer’s market where I procured so many vegetables for the week.
I plan to make this spring salad from my book full of quinoa, peas, favas, mint, lemon, feta, and a generous amount of olive oil. I have been craving salads loaded with texture and it seems it is what I eat most these days.
Oh and today I promised Miren we would make Emanuela’s mom’s chocolate and almond cake together. What an incredible woman she is. I cannot wait to tell you more about her and our time in Italy.
I will be back soon with more photos of our trip and the people we met.
Spring quinoa salad with peas, favas, lemon and feta
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups chicken stock or water
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
¾ cup English peas
¾ cup baby lima beans
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup watercress
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 15 minutes. The quinoa will absorb all the water. Transfer to a large bowl to cool, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring about 3 cups water and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil. Blanch the peas and lima beans in the water for about 1 minute. Drain the water and immediately submerge the peas and lima beans in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and keep their color.
Add the blanched peas, lima beans, and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the quinoa. Toss and serve at room temperature or chilled.