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For a couple of days I was just exhausted. My body felt heavy, sore, and I felt like I needed some time to restore. Life has been pretty hectic : many decisions and changes which sometimes can make me feel overwhelmed. I needed silence, space, time.

Keeping the promise I made to myself, I decided to listen to my feelings and instead of pushing through the sickness and keep going, I stayed home for two days. No regret or guilt allowed, and it feels good.

Except for organizing some things I had left on the side for quite a while, I had time to go back to cooking, taking the time to read recipes, leaf through cookbooks and just enjoy one of the things I love the most.

One of the dishes I made was Quinoa with a mix of herbs.

Why this dish among all the recipes I have stumbled across? Well, I can summarize it in one word: home. The herbs used in this dish just took me by my hand and brought me back in Italy. Especially the coriander, which my best friend’s mum used to often use in her wonderful dishes.

My recipe was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Steamed rice with herbs (I bought “Plenty” by Ottolenghi on Saturday and I really enjoyed leafing through the pages of his book).  Since I am not and I will never be capable of following a recipe (I always change some ingredients, often I miss some of them and never will I follow the quantities). So, yeah, I switched rice with quinoa (I just felt like having quinoa), I didn’t put a potato in there (I didn’t really see the point) and I had Quark instead of Greek yoghurt and sour cream. But, man, it was good. As I said, I just was brought back to when, as a child, during the hottest summer nights, I was sitting at the table with my friend’s family, eating dinner just waiting for the moment we could go back to play board games or go out and pick some apricots for dessert.

Since I make up my own recipes, I wouldn’t be able to tell you exact quantities (maybe I should buy some scales). The main point is: is it a springy evening? One of those when you can sit outside, but only if you wear a sweater? Awesome, this quick salad will allow you not to lose too much of your precious outside time!


For two people:

You will only need: quinoa, a mix of freshly picked herbs (I chose basil, coriander, mint and parsley), salt, olive oil and quark.

Rinse about a cup of quinoa ( I always lose a third of it by doing this) and pour it in a pan. Cover it with water, add a little salt, and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 7 minutes. Drain (there goes another third down in the sink) and set aside allowing it cool down.

Take the fresh herbs and chop them (you can decide how big or small you want the leaves to be). Put the herbs in a bowl; add a pinch of salt and the quinoa. Mix and drizzle with olive oil. Serve some quark on the side.

I think this could be a great idea as a side dish during a barbecue as well.