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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Akshay

Quinoa & Chestnut Warm Salad

This unassuming winter salad is actually one of the tricks I keep up my sleeve. I have made this for friends, whether for a picnic in the park, or chilled-out brunch, or improvised dinner, countless times and it’s always a mega hit.

You can replace quinoa with other grains - brown rice, barley, couscous, bulgur or even pasta!

It has a wonderful balance of sweetness (from the sultanas) and sourness (from the barberries) and I love the crunchiness of nuts and freshness of herbs. I really hope you try this one as I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for such a long time!


  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • 5-6 radishes chopped

  • 2 stalks of spring onions

  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts

  • 8-10 chopped cooked chestnuts

  • 1 tbsp dried barberries (you can also use dried cranberries)

  • 1 tbsp sultanas (or regular raisins)

  • The juice of 1 1/2 lemon

  • 2 +1 tbsp evo oil

  • 1 tsp sumac

  • Salt to taste

  • Optional: black olives, pomegranate seeds to garnish


Cook the quinoa in 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Once done, spread on a flat surface to allow all the steam to escape. Season with 1 tbsp oil and separate all grains.

In the meantime, chop all the fresh herbs and radishes, and season with the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, the lemon juice and sumac. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix the chopped walnuts and chestnuts. Roughly chop the sultanas and mix those in as well. Add the barberries to the mix. Set aside.

Mix the quinoa, herb marinade, and dried fruits and adjust the salt if needed. You can garnish with pomegranate seeds and/or olives if you like.

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