I love this salad, which is hearty but not heavy. It makes great picnic or barbecue fare (although you’ll need to increase the quantities); just pack the elements (hummus, quinoa salad, arugula/rocket and squid) separately and place on plates when it’s time to eat.
Quinoa with arugula salad, hummus and seared squid
Whenever I prepare chickpeas, I start by cooking them in a stovetop pressure cooker because it takes much less time than simmering them the conventional way. But with this method, it’s difficult to monitor how soft they get and if the timing is off, the chickpeas start to break apart, which means you can’t peel them as easily. (Peeling them isn’t absolutely necessary, but it makes for a smoother texture. And it’s not nearly as fiddly as it seems.) If you use a pressure cooker, cook them only partially, then finish simmering them without the pressure.
For the hummus:
200 grams dried chickpeas
½ tsp baking soda
3 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
About 80 grams tahini
About 30ml fresh lemon juice
Fine sea salt, as needed
For the quinoa and salad:
100 grams quinoa
15ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
About 5ml fresh lemon juice
25 grams pumpkin seeds
25 grams sunflower seeds
About 100 grams fresh pomegranate seeds
40 grams arugula/rocket leaves
3-4 radishes (the small variety with pink or magenta skin and white interior)
About six cherry tomatoes, preferably in several colours
For the squid:
6-8 squid, with bodies (excluding tentacles) about 10cm long
About 10ml olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Paprika, for sprinkling
Rinse the chickpeas. If you’re not using a pressure cooker, soak the chickpeas overnight (cover them with about 4cm of water), then drain them the next day. With both cooking methods, put the chickpeas in the pan and add water to cover them by about 4cm. Add two garlic cloves then stir in the baking soda. If using a regular pan, bring to the boil over a high flame then lower the heat, cover with the lid and simmer until the chickpeas are tender but not falling apart (about two hours). If using a pressure cooker, put the lid on the pan and seal it, then bring to maximum pressure over a high flame. Lower the heat and cook at maximum pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pot cool naturally, then remove the lid. Put the pot back on the stove and simmer the chickpeas for about 15 more minutes, or until they’re tender but not falling apart.
For both cooking methods, ladle off about 100ml of the liquid and put it in the fridge. Discard the garlic cloves and cool the chickpeas (and the remaining liquid they’re cooked in) to room temperature. Rub the chickpeas (still in the liquid) between the palms of your hands to loosen the skins. Stir the chickpeas and liquid; the skins will float to the surface and can be ladled off with a slotted spoon. Don’t worry about skinning all of the chickpeas, just most of them.
Drain the chickpeas then put them in a food processor along with the remaining garlic clove, 80 grams of tahini, 30ml of lemon juice and half a teaspoon of salt. Process until very smooth, adding some of the chilled chickpea liquid, if needed. Taste for seasonings and add more tahini, lemon juice or salt, if needed. If the hummus is too thick, mix in more chickpea liquid. Transfer the hummus to a container and set it aside until needed.
Prepare the ingredients for the quinoa and salad, but don’t combine them until just before serving. Pour the quinoa into a pan of simmering water and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain the quinoa and put it in a bowl. Immediately mix in 15ml of extra-virgin olive oil, 5ml of fresh lemon juice and salt to taste, then leave to cool. Put the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in separate pans and bake until lightly toasted in an oven that’s been preheated to 180 degrees Celsius. Slice the radishes into round discs. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Prepare the squid. Pull the tentacles straight out of the bodies; this will also pull out some of the guts. Cut off and discard the beak, eyes and guts, leaving only the tentacles. Use a paring knife to slit the bodies open then remove the quill and any remaining guts. Peel off and discard the skin. Lay the bodies flat on the cutting board and lightly score the exterior in a cross-hatch pattern, then cut each body into three or four pieces. Dry the tentacles and body pieces with paper towels.
Heat 10ml of olive oil in a wok or skillet until it’s very hot. Add the squid and a light sprinkling of salt, then stir-fry briefly – for about 30 seconds (or less), or until the squid is barely cooked. Transfer the squid to a plate.
Mix the pumpkin, sunflower and pomegranate seeds with the quinoa. Put the arugula/rocket in a bowl, drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and mix to lightly coat the leaves. Place a large dollop of hummus onto two dinner plates, then drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil. Divide the quinoa mixture between the plates then top with the arugula. Add the radish slices, tomatoes and squid to the plates, then dust lightly with paprika and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
The hummus keeps for about a week in the fridge.